One third of Galileo constellation now in orbit
Two Galileo satellites, named Alba and Oriana, were successfully sent into orbit during the night of Thursday 10 to Friday 11 September. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said:
"We are delivering on our commitment to build the Galileo infrastructure on time and within budget. The goal of the Commission's space policy is to foster a booming and innovative internal market for space-based applications, and support the development of a robust European industry that can compete on the global stage and achieve great things."
Galileo is the EU programme to develop a global satellite navigation system. It will provide more accurate positioning and timing information that can be used for products such as in-car navigation devices and mobile phones. Its services will make road and rail transport systems safer and improve our responses to emergency situations. And we are introducing a global Search and Rescue function, which will be the first in the world to integrate almost real-time localisation of distress calls. This will help to save lives and reduce rescue crews’ exposure to risk. The Commission plans to ensure the gradual provision of initial Galileo services in the coming years as the satellite constellation is completed; the full services will be available by 2020, using the full Galileo network of 30 satellites and their supporting ground stations. With 10 satellites now in orbit, we are well on track.