GIOVE-B fuelled and ready for Fregat integration
10 April 2008
GIOVE-B arrives in the HPF
GIOVE-B has been transferred to the Hazardous Processing Facility at Baikonur Cosmodrome and fuelling of the spacecraft has been successfully completed.
After completion of its post-delivery checkout in the Payload Processing Facility at Baikonur, GIOVE-B was moved to the Hazardous Processing Facility (HPF) on 7 April. The HPF is equipped for handling the potentially harmful substances used in the propulsion systems of space vehicles.
Once in the HPF, GIOVE-B was loaded with 28 kg of hydrazine - used as fuel by the thrusters that manoeuvre the spacecraft in orbit. When hydrazine is passed over a catalyst in the thrusters, it decomposes to produce large volumes of very hot gases, making it an ideal spacecraft propellant.
Fuelling was completed on 9 April. Today, GIOVE-B will be moved to the Upper Composite Integration Facility - where it will be mated with the launch vehicle's Fregat upper stage. Both GIOVE-B and Fregat will then be enclosed in the fairing, or nosecone, that will protect them as the Soyuz launcher propels them through the Earth's atmosphere.
Later, the complete GIOVE-B/Fregat upper composite will be taken to the Launcher Integration Building (MIK) to be mounted on the Soyuz launcher.