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VS26: Galileo successfully expands his fleet with Arianespace

  • On Saturday, December 4, Arianespace has successfully orbited two satellites from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. This was the eleventh launch for the constellation by Arianespace, which has now orbited 28 satellites, including 4 IOV, for Galileo.
  • With this 13th success of the year, Arianespace hits a new milestone by launching the 179th and 180th satellites for European institutions.

On Saturday, December 4, at 09:19 p.m. local time, a Soyuz launcher lifted off from the CSG in Kourou, French Guiana, and successfully orbited two satellites built by OHB System: Galileo FOC-M9 (23-24), SAT 27-28, as a part of Europe’s Galileo constellation.

These two satellites are the 179th and 180th launched on behalf of European institutions. More precisely, it is the 61st mission launched by Arianespace for ESA and the 23rd and 24th FOC satellites launched by Arianespace for the European Commission.

“Congratulations Europe! With this 11th launch for Galileo, the constellation is now counting 28 satellites in orbit. Arianespace is proud to guarantee a secure and autonomous access to space with the deployment of Galileo, marking another step towards European independence in satellite navigation,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “I would like to thank the European Union, especially the European Commission, as well as the European Space Agency, our direct customer for this launch, for continuing to trust us with their satellites.”

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Operational since 2016, Galileo is the global navigation satellite system that is fully financed and owned by the European Union. Under civilian control, it offers high-precision positioning, navigation and timing services to more than 2,3 billion users worldwide. Undertaken by a European partnership, the European Commission manages Galileo, with European Space Agency (ESA) as the design authority overseeing its development, procuring satellites and the ground segment, and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) overseeing Galileo operations and service provision.

The medium-lift Soyuz (produced by Progress Space Rocket Center, part of the Russian space agency Roscosmos) entered service from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana in October 2011, bringing the industry’s longest-operating launcher to the world’s most modern launch base. Soyuz is a four-stage launcher, designed with extremely high reliability requirements for its use in manned missions. This flight will also mark 10 years of Soyuz operations in French Guiana and its 26th mission for the European Spaceport.

VS26 figures:

  • 337th launch overall for the Arianespace family of launchers (301st launch of the family at CSG),
  • Galileo FOC-M9 are the 1063rd and 1064th satellites launched by Arianespace,
  • Galileo FOC-M9 are the 490th and 491st satellites launched on Soyuz by Arianespace (66th and 67th at CSG).

Source: Arianespace
Date: Dec 7, 2021
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