Headlines > News > Arianespace to launch the first ten satellites in the Galileo constellation

Arianespace to launch the first ten satellites in the Galileo constellation

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:51 am via: Arianespace
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(Arianespace) – Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, and René Oosterlinck, Director of the Galileo Program and Navigation-related Activities at the European Space Agency (ESA), today signed the launch contract for the first ten FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites in Europe’s planned Galileo satellite positioning system at ESTEC (European Space Research & Technology Center) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The contract is managed by ESA on behalf of the European Union.

Also present at the contract signing ceremony were Matthias Ruete, Director General of the Energy and Transport Directorate General in the European Commission, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA.

These ten satellites will be placed in a circular orbit at an altitude of 23,000 kilometers. They will be launched in pairs starting in December 2012, using five Soyuz launchers operated from the Guiana Space Center. The satellites will be built by the team of OHB Technology of Germany and Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd. of the United Kingdom.

Arianespace and its subsidiary Starsem have already orbited the Giove-A and Giove-B satellites, thus securing the frequencies allocated to the Galileo constellation. Arianespace will also launch the first four operational satellites in the constellation, within the scope of the In Orbit Validation (IOV) program, from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, starting at the end of 2010.

With a complete family of launchers comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, Arianespace guarantees independent access to space for Europe and offers the best solution for launching the entire Galileo constellation.

It always baffles me how long space projects take to implement. Even if it is something that has (more or less) already been done.

I know there have been quite a few political struggles regarding Galileo, but know that this has been sorted out, why does it still take years to complete the system?
"but know that this..." = "but now that those..."
damnit... that sentence is still wrong. I should not post in English before I had some coffee! ;)
Morning ;) :p
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