On 22 August, at 12:27 GMT/14:27 CEST, a Soyuz rocket launched Europe’s fifth and six Galileo satellites from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Rewatch the moment of launch here. These new satellites joined four Galileo satellites already in orbit, launched in October 2011 and October 2012 respectively. This first quartet were ‘In-Orbit Validation’ satellites, serving to demonstrate the Galileo system would function as planned.
Now that work has been done, these ‘Full Operational Capability’ satellites are significant as the first of the rest of the Galileo constellation. A steady stream of launches will follow to build the complete Galileo constellation.
This deployment phase of the Galileo programme is being managed and funded by the European Commission, with ESA acting as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.
More info: http://www.esa.int