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The next two satellites in Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system will be launched together on 11 September, taking its orbital constellation a step closer to initial services. Media are invited to take part in an audio briefing on 10 September.

Galileos 9/10 are scheduled to lift off at 02:08 GMT on 11 September (04:08 CEST; 23:08 local time, 10 September) from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on top of a Soyuz rocket. They are expected to become operational, after initial in-orbit testing, later in the autumn.

This is the fifth Galileo launch, set to bring the number of satellites in space up to 10. Two further Galileo satellites are planned to launch by the end of the year.

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Further Galileo FOC satellites are currently taking shape: their payloads are being constructed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in Guildford, UK, while the platforms and overall integration are the responsibility of OHB in Bremen, Germany.

In future, the number of Galileo satellites that can be inserted into orbit with a single launch will double from two to four, when a specially customised Ariane 5 launcher becomes available along with the Soyuz launcher currently in use.

Pre-launch media briefing

Didier Faivre, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities will hold an audio-only press briefing on “the status and perspectives of the Galileo programme” on 10 September at 14:00 to 15:00 (CEST).

Covering the launch

ESA TV

In cooperation with Arianespace, ESA TV provides broadcasters with free live videostream of the launch. Several stories have also been prepared, on Galileo. More information at: http://www.esa.int/esatv/Television

Website

ESA’s Portal will cover the launch live on www.esa.int, providing the videostream and updates of the launch.

Images

The latest high-resolution images can be found at:

ESA’s Multimedia Gallery: http://spaceinimages.esa.int/Images

ESA’s Photo Library for Professionals: http://www.esa-photolibrary.com

Media image queries can be directed to spaceinimages@esa.int

Social media

Twitter: @ESA and the hashtag #Galileo

In addition, there will be updates on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanSpaceAgency

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+EuropeanSpaceAgency

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ESA

About Galileo

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Galileo is the EU’s own global satellite navigation system. It will consist of 30 satellites and their ground infrastructure.

The definition, development and In-Orbit Validation phase were carried out by ESA, and co-funded by ESA and the European Commission. This phase created a mini constellation of four satellites and a reduced ground segment dedicated to validating the overall concept.

The Full Operational Capability phase is fully funded by the European Commission. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

Source: Esa