Standing by to launch two more Galilieo satellites

Galileos 21 and 22 being unloaded from their 747 cargo aircraft at Cayenne – Félix Eboué Airport in French Guiana, 17 October 2017 – ©ESA-P. Muller
Inside the aircraft being delivered – ©ESA-P. Muller
Computer-generated illustration showing Galileo satellites in orbit – ©GSA

Two more Galileo satellites have reached Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana,
joining the first pair of navigation satellites and the Ariane 5 rocket due to
launch the quartet into orbit this December. Galileos 21 and 22 left Luxembourg Airport on a Boeing 747 cargo jet on the morning of 17 October, arriving at Cayenne – Félix Eboué Airport in French Guiana the same day.

Resting within distinctive white air-conditioned containers, the satellites were driven to the cleanroom environment of the preparation building within the space centre. Waiting for them there were Galileos 19 and 20, which arrived in September.

The four satellites will be launched together in mid-December by a customised Ariane 5, the elements of which reached French Guiana last month (September) by sea.