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Home » News » Four in one launch - Ariane brings Galileo satellite on its orbit for the first time
 

Ariane Start

An Ariane 5 rocket has launched four additional Galileo satellites, accelerating deployment of the new satellite navigation system.

The Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 13:06 GMT (14:06 CET, 10:06 local time) carrying Galileo satellites 15-18. The first pair was released 3 hours, 25 minutes after liftoff, while the second separated 20 minutes later.

Over the next few days, engineers will nudge the satellites into their final working orbits and begin tests to ensure they are ready to join the constellation. This is expected to take six months or so.

This mission brings the Galileo system to 18 satellites.

Already, our receivers from GEOmeter up to the GEObox have the possibility to process the Galileo signals.

The satellites already in orbit will allow the European Commission to declare the start of initial services, expected towards year’s end. Two additional Ariane 5 launches are scheduled in 2017 and 2018. The full system of 24 satellites plus spares is expected to be in place by 2020.

Photograph Credits: ESA