Russian Soyuz-ST-B orbits two European Galileo-IOV satellites

Russian Soyuz-ST-B orbits two European Galileo-IOV satellites

PanARMENIAN.Net - A Russian Soyuz-ST-B carrier rocket, launched on Friday, Oct 12 evening from the Kourou space center in French Guiana, has orbited two Galileo-IOV (In-Orbit Validation) communications satellites, Russian space agency Roscosmos said.

The blastoff occurred at 1815 GMT on Friday. Some four hours after, the satellites got separated from the Soyuz-ST-B.

The satellites are the third and fourth in global navigation satellite system Galileo, the European analogue of the US GPS, which is set to eventually expand to 30 satellites, including 27 operational ones and three spares. The first two satellites were put in orbit in 2011 on board a Soyuz carrier rocket.

Galileo is expected to be in full service by 2020, and could become partially operational by 2015. Its satellites will be in 23,200-km (14,415-mile) orbits in three orbital planes with an inclination of 56 degrees. Developers claim the navigation system will be more precise than the GPS, RIA Novosti reported.

 Top stories
The launch would be in defiance of repeated warnings by governments who suspect it is a banned test of ballistic missile technology.
Carter said he looked forward to discussing the offer of ground troops with the Saudi Defense Minister in Brussels next week.
The meeting takes place as talks have begun in Geneva to try to end the five-year Syrian civil war, which has killed at least 250,000 people.
"There is no denial that we are dealing with very significant risks," he said, during a visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Partner news