The new Galileo satellites were launched from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on July 25, bringing the constellation to a total of 26 satellites, thereby enabling the provision of a more precise signal across a range of services.
For the second time, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) is responsible for the Early Orbit Phase (EOP) of this mission, overseeing Spaceopal in their role as Galileo Service Operator (GSOp) and EOP Mission Director, and CNES as EOP Operations Director. The EOP is one of the most important phases of a space mission during which the spacecraft is launched and put into the correct orbit and the first satellite elements are gradually switched on and tested.
“Today is an excellent opportunity to celebrate what Europe can achieve when resources, competences and commitments are brought together,” GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides said immediately after the launch. “Yet the success of Galileo is not measured by the number of satellites, but by the number of users, and here too we have achieved remarkable results. In the past 18 months, Galileo has moved from zero to 400 million users,” he said.