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Arianespace Wins Contract to Launch Galileo Satellites

EVRY, France --- Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, and René Oosterlinck, Director of the Galileo Program and Navigation-related Activities at the European Space Agency (ESA), today signed the launch contract for the first ten FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites in Europe’s planned Galileo satellite positioning system at ESTEC (European Space Research & Technology Center) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

The contract is managed by ESA on behalf of the European Union.

Also present at the contract signing ceremony were Matthias Ruete, Director General of the Energy and Transport Directorate General in the European Commission, and Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA.

These ten satellites will be placed in a circular orbit at an altitude of 23,000 kilometers. They will be launched in pairs starting in December 2012, using five Soyuz launchers operated from the Guiana Space Center. The satellites will be built by the team of OHB Technology of Germany and Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd. of the United Kingdom.

Arianespace and its subsidiary Starsem have already orbited the Giove-A and Giove-B satellites, thus securing the frequencies allocated to the Galileo constellation. Arianespace will also launch the first four operational satellites in the constellation, within the scope of the In Orbit Validation (IOV) program, from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, starting at the end of 2010.

With a complete family of launchers comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, Arianespace guarantees independent access to space for Europe and offers the best solution for launching the entire Galileo constellation.


Arianespace is the world’s leading launch Service & Solutions company, delivering innovative offer to its customers since 1980. Backed by its 23 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace proposes an unrivalled launcher family, comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, and an international workforce renowned for their culture of commitment and excellence. As of 01 January 2010, Arianespace had launched a total of 277 payloads, including more than half of all the commercial satellites now in service worldwide. It has a backlog of near 25 Ariane 5 and more than 10 Soyuz launches, equal to 3 years of business.

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Arianespace to Launch First Ten Satellites In Galileo Constellation