The 7th and 8th â€œFull Operational Capabilityâ€ satellites will be the 11th and 12th Galileo satellites launched, alongside the 6 FOC and 4 IOV spacecraft already in orbit. 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 2.1b version adds an upgraded engine (RD-0124) with improved performance to the second stage. First launch took place from Plesetsk Cosmodrome Site 43 on 26 July 2008 with a classified military payload. The 2.1b/ST version is sometimes called Soyuz ST-B.
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