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GIOVE-A (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) is a an European (ESA) navigational satellite. The 600 kg satellite was launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Baikonur at 05:19 UT on 28 December 2005. It is the first member of a planned fleet of 30 Galileo satellites to operate independent of the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS fleets, though quite compatible with either. (The ESA fleet may involve technical/financial participation by India and China. Unlike the GPS and GLONASS, which are under military control, the Galileo fleet will be wholly civilian-controlled, with global access guaranteed to the public ("except in direst emergencies") and providing a one-meter resolution, comparable to the resolution of the other fleets that is available for their militaries. The full Galileo fleet will be completed by 2010. (ESA expects that the profits from the accesses through 2020 will total to about five-fold of the investment.)

Alternate Names

  • 28922
  • Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2005-12-28
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-Fregat
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan

Funding Agency

  • European Space Agency (International)


  • Navigation/Global Positioning

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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