Galileo receives an ESA Team Achievement Award
Congratulations to our Galileo Initial Services & Galileo Recovery and Exploitation of Eccentric Satellites teams for their amazing accomplishments!
In a ceremony at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam on 9 October, Galileo Initial Services & Galileo Recovery and Exploitation of Eccentric Satellites teams, represented by ESA Galileo Project Manager, Javier Benedicto received the prestigious 2017 ESA Team Achievement Award* from ESA Director General Jan Woerner. The teams were rewarded for their remarkable dedication and historical accomplishments.
Paul Verhoef, ESA Director of Navigation Programmes said: "Galileo has shown that close cooperation between the public sector - namely the European Commission, the GSA, and ESA - and the industry throughout Europe is an excellent way of achieving great results! Even before the completion of the constellation, Galileo is already the best performing Global Satellite Navigation System: a fantastic result. The achievement of the team, is absolutely marvelous and the recognition of our peers within ESA makes this award very special."
The fifth and sixth Galileo satellites, launched together on 22 August 2014, ended up in an elongated orbit travelling up to 25,900 km above Earth and back down to 13,713 km. A total of 11 manoeuvres were performed across 17 days, gradually nudging the fifth satellite upwards at the lowest point of its orbit. As a result, the satellite has risen more than 3500 km and its elliptical orbit has become more circular. Thanks to the ingenuity of the ESA teams, the two FOC satellites were fully recovered and are capable of delivering Galileo services.
In collaboration with European key scientific organisations, ESA teams also succeeded in using the properties of the satellites elliptic orbit to carry out first class fundamental physics, never before experimented in space.
Initial services became operational on 15 December 2016. Galileo is interoperable with GPS and Glonass, the US and Russian global satellite navigation systems. Delivering initial services on schedule have been key to ensure the swift adoption of Galileo by all users’ communities.
You can learn more about the Galileo Programme by clicking here.
* Every year, the ESA Team Achievement Award Scheme is awarded by a Peer Review Board coordinated by ESA Human Resources Department, to recognise and celebrate one major ESA team achievement attained through remarkable teamwork with the involvement of multiple Directorates and partners.