sabato 12 dicembre 2015

ESA PR48-2015 – Press briefing on launch of Galileo satellites 11/12

The next two satellites in Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system will be launched together on 17 December, concluding a year that will double the number of Galileo satellites in orbit. Media are invited to take part in an audio briefing on 16 December. Galileo satellites 11/12 are scheduled to lift off at 11:51 GMT on 17 December (12:51 CET; 08:51 Kourou time) from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on a Soyuz rocket. They are expected to become operational, after initial in-orbit testing, next spring. This is the sixth Galileo launch overall and the third this year, set to bring the number of satellites in space up to 12. This launch takes place just 10 days before the 10th anniversary of the liftoff of Europe’s very first navigation satellite. Since the experimental GIOVE-A took off on 27 December 2005, not only has the first third of the Galileo constellation reached orbit, but a network of Galileo ground stations has been built across the globe. From 2016 onwards, the number of Galileo satellites that can be inserted into orbit with a single launch will double from two to four, when a customised Ariane 5 launcher becomes available along with the Soyuz launcher currently in use.Didier Faivre, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities, will hold an audio-only press briefing from Kourou on the state of the Galileo programme on 16 December at 17:00 GMT (18:00 CET; 14:00 Kourou time).

Covering the launch – ESA TV

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


ESA’s Portal will cover the launch live on, providing the web stream and updates of the launch.

Social media

Twitter: @ESA and the hashtag #Galileo

In addition, there will be updates on:

About Galileo

Galileo is the EU’s own global satellite navigation system. It will consist of 30 satellites and their ground infrastructure. The definition, development and In-Orbit Validation phase 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 dedicated to validating the overall concept. The Full Operational Capability phase is fully funded by the European Commission. The Commission and ESA have signed 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, 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.