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Ariane 5: flight VA240 -VIDEO

Colleferro, Italy - Arianespace has launched satellites 19, 20, 21 and 22 in the Galileo constellation

Arianespace has successfully launched satellites 19, 20, 21 and 22 in the Galileo constellation, using an Ariane 5 heavy launcher on behalf of the European Commission (DG GROW) and under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The launch took place on December 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. This launch was the ninth from CSG for the Galileo satellite navigation system, and the second using the Ariane 5 ES version of this launch vehicle. Arianespace has now orbited a total of 22 Galileo satellites, using Soyuz and Ariane 5 launchers. A last Ariane 5 ES will orbit four more Galileo satellites in 2018, then Ariane 6 will take over in 2020-2021. This launch was the 11th and final of 2017 for Arianespace, and the sixth during the year for Ariane 5, which also marked the 82nd successful mission in a row for the heavy-lift launcher. Ninth mission for Europe’s Galileo program, and the second with Ariane 5 Galileo is Europe’s own global navigation satellite system (GNSS). Under civilian control, Galileo offers guaranteed high-precision positioning around the world. Its initial services began in December 2016, allowing users equipped with Galileo-enabled devices to combine Galileo and GPS data for better positioning accuracy. The complete Galileo constellation will comprise a total of 24 operational satellites (along with spares); 22 of these satellites have already been orbited by Arianespace. Following this launch, the GSA (European GNSS Agency, in charge of managing and operating the EGNOS and Galileo satellite navigation systems for the European Union) will be responsible for operating these satellites as soon as they separate from the launcher. Satellite positioning operations and system operation will be carried out in conjunction with ESA. A very busy year of operations: 11 launches, all successful and 20 satellites orbited in 2017 With this final launch of the year, Arianespace maintains a sustained pace of operations. It performed 11 launches in 2017, all successful: six by Ariane 5, two by Soyuz and three by Vega. Arianespace launched 20 satellites for 18 different customers, with total weight injected into orbit of nearly 60 metric tons, including 53.8 metric tons just for satellites sent into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). In 2017, Arianespace launched all sizes of satellites (from 264 kg. to 6.4 metric tons), into all types of orbits and for a wide range of applications: 12 geostationary communications satellites 4 Earth observation satellites 4 navigation satellites. Below, the video of the launch:

fra/pec - 1209029

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