New satellite launch extends Galileo’s global reach
Four more Galileo satellites were launched today by an Ariane 5. Their arrival in orbit brings the Galileo constellation to 26 satellites, extending the global coverage of the constellation. Ariane 5 flight VA244, operated by Arianespace under contract to ESA, lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 11:25 GMT (13:25 CEST, 08:25 local time), carrying Galileo satellites 23–26. The first pair of 715 kg satellites was released almost 3 hours 36 minutes after liftoff, while the second pair separated 20 minutes later.