Arianespace is to launch eight new satellites for the European Galileo global navigation system.
The first two satellites will be launched 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 complete the first generation of Galileo satellites and will increase the constellation resilience.
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, all launched by Arianespace.
The new satellites are the first since Brexit and the UK leaving the Galileo programme. It also marks a shift in management of the European space activity as part of a new strategy.
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 on behalf of the European Commission and will continue to be the technical authority for these launches.
“I would like to thank ESA and EUSPA, along with the European Commission for continuing to entrust us with their satellites,” said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “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.”