First two Galileo* FOC satellites successfully launched
NOTE: An orbital anomaly was determined after this press release was issued. For follow-on information, see the subsequent press releases on this site.
Bremen/ Kourou, August 22, 2014.The two first Galileo FOC* satellites developed and built by OHB System AG, were today successfully launched on board a Soyuz rocket, which lifted off from the Kourou space center in French-Guiana at 14:27 hours CEST. They reached their orbit at an altitude of around 23,000 kilometers three hours later, shortly after they sent their first “sign of life” as planned to the European Space Agency’s control center (ESOC) in Darmstadt where the initial checks will take place within the next couple of days. Marco Fuchs, CEO of OHB System AG, who experienced the launch live in Kourou, said: “This was a very emotional moment for me and, indeed, for all of us here. To hear after all our hard work that the satellites are in orbit is a major milestone.”
In seven days’ time, the Galileo control center in Oberpfaffenhofen will be assuming responsibility for the satellites on behalf of ESA and the European Commission. These first two satellites will be joined step by step by a further 20 Galileo FOC* satellites, which OHB System is also the responsible industrial prime contractor for.
About OHB System AG
OHB System AG is one of the three leading space companies in Europe. It belongs to listed high-tech group OHB AG, where around 2,000 specialists and executives work on key European space programs. Based in Bremen and with more than three decades of experience, OHB System specializes in high-tech solutions for space. These include low-orbiting and geostationary satellites for earth observation, navigation, telecommunications, science and space exploration as well as systems for manned space flight and aerial reconnaissance.
*The FOC (full operational capability) phase of the Galileo program is being funded by the European Union. The European Commission and the European Space Agency ESA have signed a delegation agreement under which ESA acts as the design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission. The view expressed here does not necessary reflect the official position of the European Union and/or ESA. “Galileo” is a registered trademark owned by the EU and ESA and registered under OHIM application number 002742237.