For its fourth launch of the year, Arianespace will orbit four more satellites (satellites 23 to 26) for the Galileo constellation. This mission is being performed on behalf of the European Commission under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). For the third time, an Ariane 5 ES version …
The Galileo constellation is ESAâ€™s satellite navigation system and is expected to be completed by 2020. Galileo will provide Europe with an alternative to the American GPS and Russian GLONASS constellations, but will be interoperable with both systems.
The Ariane 5 ES (Evolution Storable) has an estimated LEO launch capacity of 21,000 kg (46,000 lb). It includes all the performance improvements of Ariane 5 ECA core and boosters but replaces the ESC-A second stage with the restartable EPS used on Ariane 5 GS variants. It was used to launch the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) into a 260 km circular low Earth orbit inclined at 51.6° and has been used 3 times to launch 4 Galileo navigation satellites at a time directly into their operational orbit. The Ariane 5 ES flew 8 times from 2008 to 2018 with no failures.
Arianespace SA is a multinational company founded in 1980 as the world's first commercial launch service provider. It undertakes the production, operation, and marketing of the Ariane programme. Their vehicles launch exclusively from French Guiana in South America.INFO WIKI