With the 11th Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, Arianespace continues to deploy the Galileo constellation for the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Arianespace has orbited the two latest satellites in the Galileo constellation, the seventh and eighth, for the European Commission, within the scope of a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The 11th Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center took place on Friday, March 27 at 6:46 pm local time. Arianespace continues to deploy the landmark Galileo project, fulfilling its mission of guaranteeing independent access to space for Europe.
Galileo, an emblematic project for Europe
The first infrastructure jointly produced and financed by the European Union, Galileo incorporates the most innovative technologies, developed in Europe for the benefit of its citizens. Galileo will give Europe its own satellite navigation system, offering a host of applications. Under civilian control, it offers a guaranteed, high-precision positioning service, independent from other current systems. Galileo will deploy five services with global coverage, intended for distinct uses: general public, commercial, safety of life, public regulated and search & rescue. The initial services will be operational in 2016. Galileo satellites in the Full Operational Capacity (FOC) series are built in Europe, under prime contractor OHB System (Bremen), with all payloads supplied by SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, UK a 99%-owned subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space).
Arianespace successfully resumes Galileo launches
On Flight VS09, the fifth and sixth Galileo satellites were injected into an orbit lower than intended. Arianespace appointed an independent inquiry board and set up an action plan based on the boards recommendations, which enabled Soyuz to resume launches from the Guiana Space Center beginning in December 2014, with the VS10 mission. The success of today's VS11 mission follows in the footsteps of the action plan. The next Soyuz launch for Galileo is now set for September 2015, on VS12.
Shortly after the official announcement of the orbital injection of the two Galileo satellites, Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, said: "Arianespace is very proud to be the primary partner in the Galileo program for the launch of this constellation. This evening's successful launch marks a new step forward in Europe's quest for independence in satellite navigation, a quest that is clearly reflected in our responsibilities and values: placing space at the service of citizens, especially in Europe. I would like to thank the European Commission and the European Space Agency, for having renewed their confidence in Arianespace with the successful resumption of the Galileo constellation deployment. Thanks to the Roscosmos space agency and the Russians companies involved for ensuring this successful Soyuz mission from the Guiana Space Center. And thanks to all the teams at Arianespace, to all staff at the spaceport, and to our partner CNES/CSG for this very successful second launch of 2015. Arianespace is ready to continue the deployment of Galileo constellation with both Soyuz and Ariane 5 launchers in order to start the initial services in 2016."