Galileo IOV take-off

The quartet of navigation satellites will operate from medium orbit 23 222 km above Earth. This is a significant milestone for Europe’s Galileo programme because four is the minimum number required for navigational fixes, enabling full system testing whenever they are all visible in the sky.
Galileo IOV-2 launch [flight VS03]
Soyuz VS03 liftoff
The Soyuz ST-B launcher carrying the next two Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites take off on 18:15:00 GMT (20:15:00 CEST). Deployment of its twin satellites into orbit is scheduled for three hours 44 minutes after take-off.
Separation of the two Galileo satellites from Fregat stage
This In-Orbit Validation phase will be followed by the deployment of more satellites and ground segment to achieve ‘Full Operational Capability’. After that, users on the ground can exploit the services.

Four Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites in medium-Earth orbit, the minimum number needed to perform a navigation fix. The first four Galileo satellites were built by a consortium led by EADS Astrium, Germany, with Astrium producing the platforms and Astrium UK responsible for the payloads. They were assembled and tested in Rome by Thales Alenia Space. For more information about Arianespace, visit: http://www.arianespace.com/index/index.asp, ESA - Navigation - The future - Galileo: http://www.esa.int/esaNA/galileo.html, Images, Text, Credits: ESA / P. Carril / S. Corvaja., Greetings, Orbiter.ch, Source: Orbiter.ch Space News

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