Spain, Russia Test WSO-UV Ground Control Network

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Satellite and ground segment hardware manufacturer GMV of Spain has successfully demonstrated the ground-control system to be used for the Russian-led World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) astronomy satellite scheduled for launch in 2012, Madrid-based GMV announced Feb. 15.

The test occurred Feb. 12 and featured simultaneous operation of Spanish and Russian centers that will operate the spacecraft. Theresa Beech, GMV vice president for business development, said the demonstration, which was the first of its kind for the international WSO-UV project, “is a testament to the continued success of the ground systems portion and the project as a whole.”

WSO-UV features a 1.7-meter-diameter mirror as the primary instrument to be integrated into a telescope whose launch mass is estimated at 1,570 kilograms. Russia’s Lavochkin Association is prime contractor for the telescope. It borrows from a design originally intended for Russia’s Spectrum-UV satellite, which has been canceled.

China, Germany, Italy and Ukraine are among the other nations participating in WSO-UV, which will operate in near-geostationary orbit with an inclination of 51.8 degrees relative to the equator. It is scheduled to be launched aboard a Russian-Ukrainian Zenit 2SB rocket with a Fregat upper stage from Russia’s BaikonurCosmodrome in Kazakhstan.