The European global navigation satellite system now counts 14 satellites in orbit thanks to the successful launch of Galileo 13 and 14 on board a Europeanized Soyuz rocket. The rocket carrying the two satellites, named Daniele and Alizée, lifted-off from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana at 08:48 GMT and the satellites successfully entered their 22.522 kilometre-altitude orbit 48 minutes later.
With this new launch the Galileo system gets a little bit closer to the beginning of operations, set for 2020, when the constellation will be made up of 18 satellites. The four remaining satellites are to be launched next autumn, also on Soyuz rockets.
IberEspacio’s contribution to Galileo 13 and 14 is related to thermal hardware control and comprises Heat Pipes attached to the main radiators of the satellites, thermal blankets for the antenna and the integration of the Optical Solar Reflectors (OSR).