The latest satellites in Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system will be launched together on 24 May. Media are invited to take part in an audio briefing on 23 May.
Galileos 13 and 14 are scheduled to lift off at 08:48:43 GMT (05:48:43 local time, 10:48:43 CEST) on 24 May from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana atop a Soyuz launcher. They are expected to become operational, after initial in-orbit testing, later in the year.
Further Galileo satellites are currently taking shape: their payloads are being built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK, while their platforms and overall integration are the responsibility of OHB in Bremen, Germany. The satellites are exhaustively tested at ESA’s ESTEC centre in the Netherlands before being transported across the Atlantic to Europe’s Spaceport.
This will be the seventh Galileo launch, set to bring the number of satellites in space up to 14. Four more Galileo satellites are planned to take flight in the autumn, launched for the first time on a customised Ariane 5 to bring the total number of satellites in the constellation to 18.
Pre-launch media briefing
Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, will hold an audio-only press briefing on Galileo on Monday, 23 May at 16:30 GMT (18:30 CEST).
Media interested in joining the briefing should request access information via email to ESA’s Media Relations Office at: email@example.com by 20 May 2016 at the latest.
Covering the launch
In cooperation with Arianespace, ESA TV provides broadcasters with free live videostream of the launch via satellite. Several stories have also been prepared on Galileo. More information at: http://www.esa.int/esatv/Television
ESA’s Portal will cover the launch live on www.esa.int, providing the videostream and updates of the launch.
The latest high-resolution images can be found at:
ESA’s Multimedia Gallery: http://spaceinimages.esa.int/Images
ESA’s Photo Library for Professionals: http://www.esa-photolibrary.com
Media image queries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @ESA and the hashtag #Galileo
In addition, there will be updates on:
Galileo is Europe’s civil global satellite navigation system. It will allow users worldwide to know their exact position in time and space with great precision and reliability. Once complete, the system will consist of 24 operational satellites and the ground infrastructure for the provision of positioning, navigation and timing services.
The Galileo programme is funded and owned by the EU. The European Commission has the overall responsibility for the programme, managing and overseeing the implementation of all programme activities.
Galileo’s deployment, the design and development of the new generation of systems and the technical development of infrastructure are entrusted to ESA. The definition, development and in-orbit validation phases were carried out by ESA, and co-funded by ESA and the European Commission.
The European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency (GSA) is ensuring the uptake and security of Galileo. From 2017 Galileo operations and provision of Galileo services will be entrusted to the GSA.
Learn more about Galileo at: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Navigation
About the European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.
ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 20 are Member States of the EU.
ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.
By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.
ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.
Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.
Learn more about ESA at www.esa.int
For further information:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99