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ESA awards contract for eight more Galileo satellites

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PARIS (BNS): The European Space Agency (ESA) has contracted Germany's OHB-System and UK's Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd to build eight more Galileo navigation satellites.

Under the contract, which was signed on February 2, OHB as the prime contractor will be responsible for the satellite platforms and overall integration, while SSTL will build the navigation payloads.

Back in January 2010, this consortium was awarded the contract to build the previous 14 Galileo satellites.

As part of an independent European global navigation system, the Galileo constellation of satellites will provide better coverage and positioning accuracy.

Meanwhile, in another contract, the ESA has roped in Paris-based EADS Astrium to modify Ariane 5 rocket to launch and deploy four Galileo satellites at a time into medium orbit. Under the contract, the more powerful Ariane 5 ES variant will be modified to launch the satellites.

The first two Galileo satellites were orbited by Russian-made Soyuz rocket in October last year.

In addition, ESA has booked an initial launch option with Paris-based Arianespace.

The requalified launcher, known as the 'Ariane 5 ES Galileo', should be available by the second half of 2014, along with the current Soyuz from French Guiana, ESA said.

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ESA  Galileo  
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