This new video explains the importance of this second launch of two Galileo satellites, due to fly on a Soyuz from French Guiana on the evening of Friday 12 October.
This follow-up launch marks a major step for Europe’s own satellite navigation system.
Four is the minimum number of satellites needed to achieve a navigational fix on the ground – with one satellite each to measure latitude, longitude, altitude and perform a timing check.
So once this second pair of satellites has completed the commissioning and in-orbit test process, the quartet will form a completely operational mini-constellation to validate the Galileo system fully.
Both the performance of the satellites in space and the worldwide ground infrastructure serving to maintain Galileo’s service accuracy will be assessed, to prepare for the launch of further Galileo satellites to deliver initial services by mid-decade to build up to Full Operational Capability.
These two new satellites are also the first Galileo satellites to carry search and rescue antennas to pinpoint aircraft or ships in distress as part of the international Cospas–Sarsat system.
This new video includes interviews with ESA’s Galileo Project Manager Javier Benedicto and ESA’s Galileo Space Segment Manager Giuliano Gatti.