The 12th Soyuz rocket to be launched from French Guiana is now in the launch zone following rollout in preparation for liftoff to place two more European Galileo navigation satellites in orbit.
The fifth and sixth Full Operational Capability (FOC) spacecraft in Europe’s Galileo navigation program, designated “Alba” and “Oriana,” will ride into orbit during the mission known as Flight VS12.
These satellites were built by OHB System, with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. supplying their navigation payloads.
The European Commission is managing and funding Galileo’s FOC phase – during which the network’s complete operational and ground infrastructure is being deployed. The European Space Agency has been delegated as the design and procurement agent on the Commission’s behalf.
Galileo is Europe’s own global navigation satellite system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. It is interoperable with the Global Positioning System and Glonass, the U.S. and Russian global satellite navigation systems.