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From: Dan Dubrick
To: All
Date: 2003-07-15 00:49:00
Subject: 7\11 ESA - Galileo: contracts for the first satellites

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European Space Agency

Press Release

July 11, 2003

Galileo: contracts for the first satellites

The contracts for the first Galileo satellites were signed on Friday
11 July at ESTEC, the European Space Agency's research and technology
centre.

"Galileo is taking shape with every passing day. These first
contracts are symbolic of Europe's collective resolve to develop the
first civil global satellite navigation system", stated Claudio
Mastracci, ESA Director of Application Programmes.

The contracts are for two experimental satellites, forerunners of the
system's in-orbit validation phase with one to be launched during the
second semester of 2005, so as to secure the frequencies reserved for
the Galileo system with the International Telecommunications Union;
the signals have to be sent by June 2006 at the latest in order to
retain the priority allocated when the frequencies were applied for.

One contract, worth EUR 27.9 million, has been awarded to the British
firm Surrey Space Technology Limited. The main task of this test
satellite, which will have a mass on lift-off of 400 kg, is to
transmit the Galileo signals from one of the orbits to be used by the
constellation. 

This satellite will also test various critical technologies that it
will be flying, including the rubidium atomic clock and a signal
generator. It will also measure the physical parameters of the orbit
and the particular environment in which the future constellation is
to operate. This will be Europe's first satellite placed in a
medium-Earth orbit.

In order to minimize risks of delays, launch failure, etc. a contract
to build another test satellite has also been placed with the
consortium Galileo Industries (*). This contract is worth EUR 72.3m.

This satellite, which will have a mass of 525 kg on lift-off, will be
more representative of the four to be used to validate the Galileo
system in orbit. With a payload very similar to that of the
satellites that will form the complete constellation, it will serve
to validate all the technologies to be flown. It might also be used
in the system validation phase itself.

Both satellites are expected to be launched by Starsem, the company
which markets the Soyuz launcher from Baikonur.

"This is a real challenge we have set ourselves, alongside our
European industrial partners, and the schedule is very tight, but we
have done everything to improve the odds in our favour", said RenÚ
Oosterlinck, Head of the ESA Navigation Department.

The Galileo system will be built around 30 satellites (27 operational
and three in reserve) stationed on three circular medium-Earth orbits
at an altitude of 23 616 km and inclined at 56° to the equator.
This configuration will provide excellent coverage of the entire
planet. Two Galileo centres will be set up in Europe to control
satellite operations and manage the navigation system.

Developed by ESA and the European Union on the basis of 50-50
cofinancing, Galileo will be a complete civil system, due to be
operational from 2008, offering users in Europe, and throughout the
world as well, a precise, secure satellite positioning service. (*)
Galileo Industries is a consortium composed by Alcatel Space
Industries (F), Alenia Spazio (I), Astrium GmbH (D), Astrium Ltd (UK)
and Galileo Sistemas y Servicios (E).

Further information:
 
Media Relations Service
Tel: + 33 (1) 5369 7155
Fax: + 33 (1) 5369 7690

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