Home » News » Galileo satellites: After the launch is before the launch

On Friday, August 22nd, 2014, at 14.27:11 (CET), the first launch of Galileo's Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites took place at the European Space Port of Kourou (French Guyana). These satellites, manufactured by the German company OHB, were meant to rejoin the current 4 of the In-Orbit Validation phase, which are in orbit already and were used to conduct tests and validate technical solutions.
Unfortunately, the orbit injection didn't occur as planned and the satellites did not reach their intended orbital position.
The European Commission has requested Arianespace and the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide full details of the incident, together with a schedule and an action plan to rectify the problem.
On the 21.08.2014 the EU's satellite navigation programme Galileo signed a €500 million agreement with Arianespace which will bring an operational Galileo service much closer. The agreement to provide three Ariane-5 launchers will reduce the EU's use of external parties for placing its Galileo satellites into orbit - another step on the road to the EU's goal to secure independent access to space. As the launchers are manufactured in the EU this is also a win for European business. The Ariane-5 launcher will carry four satellites at a time into orbit, twice the capacity of the current launchers and will start to be used in 2015. The number of launches needed for the full set of satellites required for commercial operations will therefore decrease.


Quelle: EU/ESA