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N° 18–2018: Call for Media: Galileo 23-26 close to launch

17 July 2018

The last four Galileo satellites of the second FOC (Full Operational Capability) batch are scheduled for launch on 25 July at 11:25 GMT (13:25 CEST, 08:25 local time) from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket, designated Flight VA244 by Arianespace.

This launch will be the third and last one using a customised Ariane 5 ES launcher, placing the next four Galileo satellites into the last of the three Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) circular orbits at an altitude of 23 222 km.

This launch will mark Europe’s 99th Ariane 5 flight. The four new Galileo satellites will bring the constellation from 22 to 26 satellites – further improving Galileo’s positioning accuracy and global reach. ESA and its Galileo partners have deployed 22 Galileo satellites in just over four years.

The Galileo system began Initial Services on 15 December 2016, and more than 100 million commercial devices are using Galileo today.

Media are invited to take part in an audio briefing on 24 July at 16:30 GMT (18:30 CEST, 13:30 local time) to learn the latest on the status of the system. Journalists interested in joining the briefing should request access information via email to ESA’s Media Relations Office at: by 23 July at the latest.

Follow the launch


In cooperation with Arianespace, ESA TV provides broadcasters with free live videostream of the launch. More information at:


ESA Portal

The launch will be covered live on ESA’s web Portal at, including livestream and launch updates.



The latest high-resolution images can be found at:

ESA’s Multimedia Gallery:

ESA's Photo Library for Professionals:

Media image queries can be directed to


Social media

Follow the launch on social media:

Twitter: @esa and the hashtag #Galileo




About Galileo

Galileo is Europe’s own satellite navigation system, consisting of both the satellites in space and their associated ground infrastructure, to provide an array of positioning, navigation and timing services to Europe and the world.

The definition, development and in-orbit validation phases were carried out by ESA, and co-funded by ESA and the European Commission. This phase created a mini-constellation of four satellites and a reduced ground segment set up to validate the overall concept, ahead of further deployment.

The current Full Operational Capability phase is fully funded by the EU and managed by the Commission. The Commission and ESA have a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

Learn more about Galileo at:


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. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with six 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 as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions.

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. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications.

Learn more about ESA at

For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office