Arianespace has successfully launched satellites 15, 16, 17 and 18 in the Galileo satellite navigation system for the European Commission (DG Growth), within the scope of a con-tract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The Ariane 5 launch took place on Novem-ber 17 at 10:06 a.m. (local time) from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Gui-ana. Maro efovi, Vice President of the European Commission, and Elbieta Biekow-ska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, were on hand for the launch.
Todays launch was the eighth from the Guiana Space Center for Galileo and the first using an Ariane 5 launcher (ES version). Arianespace has now orbited 18 Galileo satellites, more than two-thirds of those that will eventually be deployed by the constellation, enabling Europes satellite navigation system to start services as early as the end of this year.
The launch was the ninth of the year for Arianespace and the sixth with Ariane 5, mark-ing the 75th successful launch in a row for this heavy-lift launcher and surpassing the previous record set by Ariane 4. With todays successful and doubly symbolic mission, Arianespace is proud to support Europes space ambitious objectives while also continu-ing to demonstrate its unrivaled reliability that is unparalleled in the market.