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Ariane 5 July 20, 2018

Arianespace’s third Ariane 5 mission with Galileo satellites is “go” for launch

Next week’s Arianespace flight with four European Galileo navigation spacecraft has been approved for a morning liftoff on July 25 following the launch readiness review held today at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

Designated Flight VA244 in Arianespace’s numbering system, the launch will deploy its quartet of Galileo spacecraft during a nearly four-hour flight, with liftoff set at exactly 8:25:01 a.m. local time in French Guiana on Wednesday.

Today’s launch readiness review validated the “go” status of the Ariane 5 ES launcher version, its Galileo passengers, as well as the Spaceport’s launch site infrastructure and the network of tracking stations.

The Galileo satellites have a liftoff mass of approximately 740 kg. each, and will be injected into a medium Earth orbit (MEO) at an altitude of 22,922 kilometers. To achieve this, the Ariane 5’s storable propellant upper stage will perform two separate burns. 

Europe’s global navigation satellite system

As Europe’s own global navigation satellite system, Galileo is operated under civilian control, offering guaranteed high-precision positioning around the world. Its initial services began in December 2016, allowing users equipped with Galileo-enabled devices to combine Galileo and GPS data for better positioning accuracy.

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) is responsible for operating the Galileo satellite navigation systems on behalf of the European Union. Galileo spacecraft are built by OHB System in Bremen, Germany, and the navigation payloads provided by Airbus-owned Surrey Satellite Technology in the United Kingdom.

Flight VA244 is Arianespace’s third Ariane 5 mission carrying European Galileo satellites, following previous launches in November 2016 and December 2017. Prior to that, the company orbited 14 of them on seven Soyuz missions performed between October 2011 and May 2016.


Liftoff time for Flight VA244:

French Guiana Universal Time (UTC) Washington D.C., USA Paris, France
8:25:01 a.m.
on July 25
on July 25
7:25:01 a.m.
on July 25
1:25:01 p.m.
on July 25


More details are available in the VA244 launch kit:

Ariane Flight VA244
PDF / 1 MB

The European Commission website – Galileo:

The European Space Agency website – Galileo:

European GNSS Agency (GSA) website:

OHB System website:

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited website:

ArianeGroup website:

Ariane 5 July 6, 2018

Dual-transfer: Ariane 5s for Arianespace’s next heavy-lift missions are on the move in French Guiana

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Dual-transfer of the Ariane 5 launchers for Flights VA244 and VA243
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