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Ariane 5 Reaches its 99th Mission with Latest Galileo Launch

By | July 25, 2018
Ariane 5's 99th launch. Photo: Arianespace

The Ariane 5 rocket’s 99th launch, adding four more satellites in the Galileo constellation. Photo: Arianespace

Arianespace successfully launched four more satellites in the Galileo constellation. The launch happened today at 8:25 a.m. GMT-3 from the Guiana Space Center.

Today’s launch was the 99th mission by the Ariane 5 heavy launcher. It was carried out on behalf of the European Commission as part of a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). It also was the last in a series of three launches for Galileo using the version of Ariane 5 with a storable propellant upper stage (ES). Two additional missions to deploy four more satellites have been assigned to the A62 version of the upcoming Ariane 6 launch vehicle.

Today’s launch also was a landmark for the European space sector. It brought together the ESA Director General; heads of national space agencies; European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship, and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Elżbieta Bieńkowska; French Minister of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation Frédérique Vidal; French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Sébastien Lecornu; and Spanish Minister for Science, Innovation, and Universities Pedro Duque.