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 p.m. (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
The 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.
The 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.