The 9th and 10th â€œFull Operational Capabilityâ€ satellites will be the 13th and 14th Galileo satellites launched, alongside the 8 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.
Progress Rocket Space Centre, formerly known as TsSKB-Progress, is a space science and aerospace research company which is known for manufacturing launch vehicles and satellites. Most notably, Progress Rocket Space Centre is the manufacturer of Soyuz launch vehicles.INFO WIKI