Europe is building its own satellite navigation system, Galileo, which will deliver a new, advanced global civil positioning service for the benefit of citizens in Europe and throughout the
On Wednesday 5 March, media representatives will have the unique opportunity to attend an in-depth Galileo background briefing at ESTEC. It will be the last opportunity to see GIOVE-B before it
is packed for shipment to the launch base at Baikonur in Kazakhstan. A visit of the navigation laboratory where GIOVE signals are analysed is included in the programme.
The foundations of Galileo are currently being laid through what is known as the In-Orbit Validation phase. This includes the launch of pilot satellites. In 2005, GIOVE-A was placed in orbit by
a Soyuz launcher from Baikonur, and since then, Galileo signals have been broadcast by GIOVE-A and received all around the globe.
Now the second Galileo satellite, GIOVE-B, is being prepared for launch at the end of April, again from Kazakhstan. GIOVE-B is at present going through the final environmental test campaign at
the test facilities at ESTEC, the European Space Agency’s research and technology centre in the Netherlands at Noordwijk.
This second Galileo satellite will continue the validation of the critical technologies that need to be developed in Europe for the success of the Galileo programme. Furthermore GIOVE-B will
test the most accurate atomic clock ever flown in space, which will contribute to the quality of the Galileo system performance.