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N° 11–2008: Galileo satellite GIOVE-B presented at ESA/ESTEC

26 February 2008

Europe is building its own satellite navigation system, Galileo, which will deliver a new, advanced global civil positioning service for the benefit of citizens in Europe and throughout the world.

On Wednesday 5 March, media representatives will have the unique opportunity to attend an in-depth Galileo background briefing at ESTEC. It will be the last opportunity to see GIOVE-B before it is packed for shipment to the launch base at Baikonur in Kazakhstan. A visit of the navigation laboratory where GIOVE signals are analysed is included in the programme.

The foundations of Galileo are currently being laid through what is known as the In-Orbit Validation phase. This includes the launch of pilot satellites. In 2005, GIOVE-A was placed in orbit by a Soyuz launcher from Baikonur, and since then, Galileo signals have been broadcast by GIOVE-A and received all around the globe.

Now the second Galileo satellite, GIOVE-B, is being prepared for launch at the end of April, again from Kazakhstan. GIOVE-B is at present going through the final environmental test campaign at the test facilities at ESTEC, the European Space Agency’s research and technology centre in the Netherlands at Noordwijk.

This second Galileo satellite will continue the validation of the critical technologies that need to be developed in Europe for the success of the Galileo programme. Furthermore GIOVE-B will test the most accurate atomic clock ever flown in space, which will contribute to the quality of the Galileo system performance.

The programme at ESA/ESTEC is as follows:

10.30: Arrival and registration at ESA/ESTEC.

11.00: Introduction to ESA's Navigation Programmes by Giuseppe Viriglio, ESA Director of European Union and Industrial Programmes.

11.15: Presentation of Galileo, a major initiative for the European Union, by Paul Verhoef, Head of Galileo Unit, DG TREN European Commission.

11.30: Presentation of GIOVE-B and the Galileo In-Orbit Validation Phase by Javier Benedicto, ESA Galileo Project Manager.

11.45 Questions & answers.

12.15: Buffet / Interview opportunities.

13.00: Visit of spacecraft at the Test Centre / Visit of Navigation lab (in groups).

Media representatives wishing to attend are kindly requested to fill in the attached Registration Form and fax it back to the ESA/ESTEC Communication Office, Fax. + 31 71 565 57 28 (Phone + 31 71 565 3006).

Giove B MEDIA DAY

Place: ESA-ESTEC, Erasmus Auditorium

Keplerlaan 1, Noordwijk (NL)

Date: Wednesday 5 March

10.30-14.00 hrs

First Name: _________________ Name:______________________

Media: ___________________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Tel: ______________________ Fax: _________________________

E-mail: ____________________

( ) I will attend

( )I will not attend

Please fax to :

ESA Communications Office (ESTEC)

Fax: 071 565 5728

Tel: 071 565 3006

or e-mail to : wil.spangenberg@esa.int

For further information:

ESA - Media Relations Service
Tel: +33.(0)1.5369.7299
Fax: +33.(0)1.5369.7690



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