Wednesday 25 July, Ariane 5 will be sent aloft from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, to orbit the 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th Full Operational Capability (FOC-M8) satellites for the European Galileo constellation on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission. The satellites were built by OHB-System AG and SSTL.
Galileo is already providing Europe with an extremely precise, reliable and secure satellite navigation system, and these four new satellites are set to further boost the constellation’s performance.
The launch will be the fourth of the year from the CSG, Ariane 5’s third in 2018 and its 99th in total.
The four satellites, each weighing close to 750 kilograms for a total payload mass of 2,952 kilograms, will be placed in a circular inclined orbit at an altitude of 22,922 kilometres. They will deliver signals compatible and interoperable with existing satellite navigation systems, but one of Galileo’s key advantages is that it will offer near-metric precision, and that is before being further refined by additional signal processing. The satellites have an expected service lifetime of more than 12 years.
Galileo initial services were declared operational in December 2016. The constellation of satellites delivers an unprecedented degree of precision and range of applications.
This is the third Ariane 5 launch orbiting four new Galileo satellites, after seven launches by Soyuz. In total, 26 Galileo satellites have now been orbited since 2011.
The Ariane 5 launch will be carried live on
https://ariane.cnes.fr/live via YouTube
Check out the photos of the VA244 flight campaign at the Guiana Space Centre at