Arianespace has successfully launched four more satellites in the Galileo constellation. Liftoff was at 8:25 a.m. (local time) July 25, 2018 from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Today’s launch was the 99th mission by the Ariane 5 heavy launcher. It was carried out on behalf of the European Commission as part of a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). It also was the last in a series of three launches for Galileo using the version of Ariane 5 with a storable propellant upper stage (ES). Two additional missions to deploy four more satellites have been assigned to the A62 version of the upcoming Ariane 6 launch vehicle.
Today’s emblematic launch also was a landmark for the European space sector. Taking place at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, it brought together, in addition to the ESA Director General and the heads of national space agencies, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW); Frédérique Vidal, the French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation; Sébastien Lecornu, the French Minister of State, attached to the Ministre d’Etat, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition; and Pedro Duque, the Spanish Minister for Science, Innovation and Universities.