Kourou, Sept. 11, 2015—Arianespace has successfully launched the ninth and tenth satellites in the Galileo constellation for the European Commission, under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The company's eighth launch of the year, and the 12th Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, took place on September 10, 2015 at 11:08 pm local time.
Arianespace is proud of its role in the ongoing deployment of the Galileo constellation, which will offer to all citizens, especially Europeans, a new satellite navigation service under civilian control.
Galileo, an emblematic European program
Europe initiated the Galileo program to develop a new global satellite navigation system. Under civilian control, it will offer a guaranteed, high-precision positioning service, with performance outpacing current solutions.
Galileo is the first joint infrastructure developed by ESA and financed by the European Union. It features innovative technologies developed in Europe to benefit all citizens.
Through Galileo, Europe will deploy its own satellite navigation system, offering multiple applications. It will provide five distinct services, all offering global coverage: general public, commercial, safety of life, public regulated, search & rescue. The first services will be available by 2016.
The Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capacity) satellites are built in Europe by OHB System of Bremen, Germany as prime contractor, with all payloads supplied by SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.), a British subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space.
Arianespace continues to deploy the Galileo constellation
Following this latest successful mission, Arianespace has now launched one-third of the satellites comprising Galileo, or 10 out of a total of 30. The next Galileo launch is planned for December 2015, once again using a Soyuz launch vehicle.
The ES version of Ariane 5 will then take over, carrying four satellites on each mission, with a launch scheduled for the second half of 2016. In 2017 and 2018, one Soyuz and two Ariane 5 ES launchers will be used to orbit another ten satellites.
Shortly after the official announcement of this successful launch, Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, said: "As a benchmark partner in the Galileo program, responsible for the constellation deployment, Arianespace upholds its commitment to guaranteeing independent access to space for Europe. This evening's launch, the sixth of eight scheduled European governmental missions this year, marks a further step towards European independence in satellite navigation – and we are very proud of our contribution. I would like to thank the European Union, especially the Commission's DG Growth, as well as ESA for continuing to place their trust in us. I would also like to thank the Russian space agency Roscosmos for their commitment to our partnership based on the Soyuz launcher, which reaffirms its dual vocation for commercial and governmental missions. And of course thanks to CNES/CSG, to all staff at the space center, and to the teams at Arianespace for the availability of the launch facilities and this very successful eighth launch of the year."