May 19, 2016

Next Soyuz mission from CSG to orbit two new Galileo satellites

Tuesday 24 May, Soyuz will lift off from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana carrying the 13th and 14th Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites of Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation constellation for the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission. It will be the second Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) this year.

For its 15th launch from the CSG, Soyuz is set to orbit the 13th and 14th FOC satellites for the Galileo constellation, following the previous two launched last December. Ultimately, Galileo is designed to give Europe an extremely precise, reliable and secure satellite navigation system.

Placed in a circular inclined orbit at an altitude of 23,522 kilometres, the two satellites—each weighing slightly over 700 kilograms—will be the 13th and 14th in the constellation. Their signals will be compatible and interoperable with existing satellite navigation systems, but one of Galileo’s key advantages is that it offers near-metric precision, and that is before the signal is further refined by additional processing.

The full Galileo constellation will comprise 26 satellites to provide unrivalled precision and serve an unprecedented range of applications. The 12 FOC satellites still to be deployed after this latest launch will be orbited by three Ariane 5 flights, each carrying four satellites.

Webcast : Galileo launch live on 24 May 2016 :

Pascale Bresson    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39
Julien Watelet    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37