April 29, 2024 – The European Commission and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) will entrust Arianespace with the launch of four new satellites for the Galileo navigation constellation. This order brings to five the total number of launches scheduled on-board Ariane 6 for Europe’s ultra-high performance Galileo satellite navigation system: the last three launches of pairs of first-generation satellites (L14-L15-L16) and the first two pairs of the second generation (L17-L18). These two additional launches are scheduled in 2026 and 2027 and will carry the first four second-generation Galileo satellites in pairs. Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space are each building six satellites, which together will form the first second-generation fleet. The satellites, each weighing about 2,000 kg and equipped with electrical propulsion, will then reach the Galileo constellation’s operational orbit (at an altitude of 23,222 km). Read more