Galileo to Begin Initial Service By the End of the Year

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The European Commission successfully launched another pair of Galileo satellites aboard an Arianespace Soyuz ST-B launch vehicle from French Guiana on May 24, marking the 13th and 14th satellites in the European Global Navigation Satellite Services (GNSS) constellation, which consists of a planned 30 satellites in total. The Soyuz launch vehicle completed a nearly 3-hour, 48-minute mission, placing the Galileo passengers into a targeted circular orbit at an altitude of 23,522 km, inclined 57.394 degrees to the equator, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). Arianespace estimated total payload lift performance at 1,599 kg.


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