An Arianespace Ariane 5 Lifts off with Four Galileo Spacecraft
Arianespace's Ariane 5 launcher has begun its latest mission from the Spaceport, carrying four satellites for Europe's Galileo navigation system.
Lifting off at exactly 10:06:48 a.m. local time in French Guiana, the heavy-lift vehicle is to deploy its passengers on a flight lasting approximately 3 hrs., 55 min.
Payload lift performance for today's mission - which is designated Flight VA233 in Arianespace's launcher family numbering system - is estimated at 3,290 kg.
Galileo is an important infrastructure program for Europe, creating a civil global satellite navigation system that provides highly-accurate positioning with great precision and reliability.
It is funded by the European Union, with overall responsibility for management and implementation held by the European Commission - while design and development of the new generation of systems and infrastructure has been assigned to the European Space Agency.