Back to Index French German

N° 59–2005: First member of Galileo satellite family to be launched on 26 December - Follow the launch live.

13 December 2005

Galileo, Europe's global navigation satellite system, will start becoming concrete reality the day after Christmas with the launch of Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element GIOVE-A on top of a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.


The complete constellation of 30 satellites, specifically designed for civil use, will eventually offer European citizens and institutional users state-of-the-art global positioning and timing services with outstanding accuracy, availability, integrity and a guaranteed signal. Galileo is a joint initiative being taken by the European Commission and ESA.

The Soyuz rocket, operated by Starsem, the Euro-Russian company in charge of its marketing, is scheduled to lift off at 06:19 CET. The satellite will be released from the Fregat upper stage at 10:01 following a long ballistic cruise to reach its operational orbit. Only at 13:51 will ground controllers in Guildford (UK) at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd – the company in charge of building and operating GIOVE-A -have completed their job and placed the satellite in its operational Medium Earth Orbit slot at an altitude of 23,222 km.

Media representatives wishing to follow the broadcast of the launch live from Baikonur are invited to come to ESA's Paris Headquarters, where specialists will be available for interviews. The programme and the reply form for accreditation for the event are attached. Please fax back the form by Tuesday 20 December at the latest.

The launch will also be broadcast live on ESA-TV. For further information and details of pre-event footage and the video broadcast, see:

Video on demand will be available on the ESA web site soon after the launch has taken place; see

For further information, please contact:

Franco Bonacina or Anne-Marie Remondin

ESA Media Relations Division

Communication Department

ESA, Paris

Tel : + 33(0)

Fax : +33(0)


Launch of GIOVE A – Monday 26 December 2005 –

ESA HQ – 8/10, rue Mario Nikis, 75015-Paris - Room B

Provisional Programme

05 :00 - Doors open, accreditation - Breakfast served in the Foyer

05 :30 - Start of Programme Part 1: short intros on GIOVE /Galileo by ESA Galileo programme representative and on the launch by Starsem representative

06:00 - Video coverage starts

06:19 - Lift-off

06:28 - Fregat upper stage separation

06:40 - Confirmation of Fregat separation - End of initial video coverage

06:45 - End of Programme Part 1

Programme break: breakfast continues till 07:30

09:30 - Programme resumes

09:45 - Start of Programme Part 2: short status report by Galileo programme representative

10:01 - Separation of GIOVE A from Fregat stage

10:15 - Second part of video coverage: launch replay, statements from Baikonur, status report on the satellite from the control centre, Guildford (UK)

10:25 - End of follow-up video coverage

11:00 - End of Programme


Launch of GIOVE A – Monday 26 December 2005 –

ESA HQ – 8/10, rue Mario Nikis, 75015-Paris - Room B

Name : ___________________ Surname : ______________________

MEDIA : ___________________________________________________

Address : ________________________________________________


Tel: ______________________ Fax: _________________________

Mobile : __________________ E-mail : ____________________

[ ] I will be attending the video broadcast of the GIOVE A launch

[ ] will not be attending

Please fax this form back to :

Anne-Marie Rémondin

ESA Media Relations Division


Fax: +33(0)


For further information:

ESA Media Relations Division

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)