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GIOVE-B (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element-B) is the second of the test versions of the 30 craft European Union navigational fleet that is planned to be launched beginning 2010. It was launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Baikonur at 22:16 UT on 26 April 2008. (A similar version, GIOVE-A, was launched in December 2005.) The 500 kg craft carries two (redundant) Rubidium atomic clocks, and an even more precise Passive Hydrogen Maser with an accuracy of one nanosecond/day. It also carries a radiation-monitoring payload, and a laser retro-reflector for high-accuracy laser ranging. When completed, this Galileo fleet will become the third available fleet, after the long-functional GPS and the to-be-completed GLONASS fleets.

Alternate Names

  • 32781

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2008-04-26
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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