|Galileo Update|| |
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani has announced that the consortium led by OHB System AG and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) will build a further eight satellites for the European Union’s Galileo satellite navigation programme under the supervision of the European Space Agency.
The new contract will see SSTL continuing its role as payload prime, assembling, integrating and testing the navigation payloads in the UK, whilst OHB System, as the prime contractor, builds the eight satellite platforms and executes the final integration of all the satellites in Germany. The SSTL-OHB partnership is already building fourteen satellites for the Galileo programme and will draw on its heritage and experience to produce the additional satellites to demanding schedules.
With the signature of further contracts for satellites and launchers, Galileo is firmly on track for the provision of improved satellite navigation services to citizens in 2014. In total, 3 contracts were signed: the contract signed with OHB System AG (DE) comprising 8 satellites for an amount in the order of €250 million. A second contract was signed with Arianespace (FR) for a booking option of up to 3 launches using Ariane 5 (booking fee of €30 million). A third contract was signed with Astrium SAS (FR) to enable the current Ariane 5 launcher to carry 4 Galileo programme satellites per launch into orbit, for an amount in the order of €30 million. Galileo satellites are currently launched in pairs aboard the Russian Soyuz rocket.
Adrianna Cyprus will be the name of a Galileo satellite, set to be sent to space in the coming years as part of the European Union’s (EU) global navigation satellite system (GNSS). The satellite was named after Adrianna Yiallourou, a 10-year-old pupil at the Ayios Anargyros primary school in Larnaca, who won a national drawing competition depicting her interpretation of space.
The UK government granted GBP 2.5 million fund to enable around 22 British companies to develop commercial products and services using space technology or satellite data. The fund has been granted by the UK Space Agency, the Technology Strategy Board and the South East England Development Agency. This financial aid will support around twenty-eight fast-track research and development projects. These projects will cover a broad range of growth opportunities, ranging from novel propulsion for cubesats; through technology to exploit the Galileo (a navigation satellite system); to techniques for crop monitoring from space. The investment forms part of the UK Space Agency’s National Space Technology Programme (NSTP), which will see government investment of GBP 10 million to help UK industry exploit growth opportunities in the space sector and improve the UK’s space technology capabilities.
Galileo signed off for fast-track constellation completion
Europe has formally put its Galileo satellite navigation project on track to provide a functional service during 2014 and near-global coverage in 2015 with the signing of contracts to build and launch eight more satellites. The €215 million ($285 million) package – signed in London by European Commission vice-president Antonio Tajani, who has championed the Galileo project, with the European Space Agency and its launch contractor Arianespace – includes €255 million to build eight satellites in addition to the 18 already ordered, a €30 million deposit for up to three Ariane 5 launches and €30 million to adapt the Ariane 5 ES launcher to orbit four Galileo satellites simultaneously.