Arianespace to launch eight new Galileo satellites

Arianespace will launch the first two satellites in 2022, leading to the Full Operational Capability of Galileo open service. Then, three successive launches on Ariane 62 in 2023, 2024 and 2025, will finalize the launch of the first generation of Galileo satellites and will increase the constellation resilience. These will be the 13th to 16th Galileo missions by Arianespace, which has orbited all satellites in the constellation.

Ariane 6 in A62 configuration, with 2 booster pillars. Credit: Arianespace

The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) has chosen Arianespace to launch four new Galileo satellites for Europe’s own satellite navigation system. With this order, EUSPA takes over the role of placing launch services contracts for Galileo from ESA, which acted so far in the name and on behalf of the European Commission and will continue to be the technical authority for these launches.

This order follows European Space Agency’s (ESA) order for the launch of four satellites in October 2021, and will complete the deployment of first-generation Galileo satellites.

These launches will take place from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. After a first launch this year for Galileo, carrying satellites from a previous order, in the first half of 2022, a second Soyuz launch in 2022 will orbit the first two satellites from this latest order. The next three missions will orbit two satellites each on Ariane 62, in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

“I would like to thank ESA and EUSPA, along with the European Commission for continuing to entrust us with their satellites. We’re very proud to once again be helping EU deploy its own global navigation satellite system. This additional order to the service of Galileo once again confirms Arianespace’s assigned mission of ensuring reliable access to space for Europe,”

said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace.

Each of the eight satellites under this order, built by OHB System AG in Bremen, Germany, will weigh less than 730 kg. They will join the 28 Galileo satellites already deployed to date, as well as the two to be orbited in early 2022 from the Guiana Space Center by Arianespace.

About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited over 1,100 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and from the Russian cosmodromes in Baikonur and Vostochny. Starting in 2022, Arianespace will operate the new-generation Ariane 6 and Vega C launchers, developed by ESA. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry. ESA and CNES are advisory board members.

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