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ESA To Launch Four Galileo Satellites Next Week

Article by: maft
Date: 11 Nov 2016

The European Space Agency will be launching four Galileo satellites next week (17th November 2016) from a single rocket. Previous launches have delivered them to orbit in pairs from French Guiana using Soyuz rockets. The upcoming launch, which will bring the total number of satellites to 18, will be using an Ariane 5 rocket.

Once they reach their orbit of 23,200km (58x the distance of the International Space Station) the ESA will spend two weeks positioning the satellites to their operational positions.

Galileo will ultimately consist of 24 satellites (the navigation payloads having been made by UK company Surrey Satellite Technology) and will give Europe full control of their own independent navigation system. The main GPS system currently used is the US Military's Navstar system which can, if The President wishes, be "turned off" for civilian use.

Source: European Space Agency

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