On July the 25th, the European Space Agency – ESA launched four more Galileo satellites. As reported by the European GNSS Agency – GSA in its press release “Galileo’s 10th launch, and the 3rd in a row with the European Ariane 5 launcher, lifted off at 13:25 CEST on Arianespace’s Flight VA244 from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3). With this launch the Galileo constellation comes one step closer to full operational capability, expected in 2020.“.
Here the spectacular replay of the Ariane 5 liftoff (source ESA videos) from the French Guyana.
As stated by Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director of Navigation, and reported by a news from ESA: … “Galileo has been providing Initial Services on a worldwide basis since 15 December 2016, and today has more than 100 million users, and rapidly increasing. Today’s satellites will increase the global coverage of Galileo with a performance that is widely recognised as excellent. … This is the end of the current phase of Galileo deployment, but our pace is not slacking. A further 12 Galileo ‘Batch 3’ satellites are in preparation as in-orbit spares and as replacements for the oldest Galileo satellites, first launched in 2011, in order to keep the system working seamlessly into the future. … Then a new generation of Galileos are planned for the middle of the next decade, offering improved performance and added features, maintaining Galileo as a permanent feature of the global GNSS landscape.”