European Commissioner: EU to use Ariane launcher instead of Soyuz in 2016

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Two new European satellites of the Galileo navigation system have been successfully delivered to the design orbit by means of the Russian launcher Soyuz-ST.

The European Union plans to use the Ariane launcher instead of the Russian Soyuz to launch Galileo satellites at the beginning of 2016. This information was given at the yesterday press conference in Brussels by European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry and Entrepreneurship Elzbieta Bienkowska.

“We are waiting for the Ariane to be ready for future launches but it will happen only in early 2016. In order to achieve our objective – 30 satellites by 2020 – we need to make a decision. We have to either launch the Soyuz which is widely used even by the United States, or wait one year. This time we’ve decided to use the Soyuz launcher, but in 2016 or at the end of 2015, we will launch Ariane,” she said.

Two new European satellites of the Galileo navigation system have been successfully delivered by means of the Russian launcher Soyuz-ST to the design orbit launched on March 28 from the Guiana Space Centre cosmodrome. The successful satellites’ launch has been confirmed by the European Space Agency (ESA), which deals with the orbital network creation.

Text and pictures by TASS