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Galileo FM4



Soyuz rocket boosted two validation platforms from French Guiana into orbit Friday for Europe's Galileo navigation network, setting the stage for further launches every six months over the next few years to build a constellation of satellites beaming global positioning services to airplanes, automobiles and millions of users.

The satellites were released around 2200 GMT (6 p.m. EDT), and controllers in Toulouse, France, acquired radio signals from the spacecraft moments later. The satellites were supposed to deploy solar panels soon after separation. After adjusting their positions in orbit, the satellites will join two other Galileo spacecraft launched in October 2011. The quartet will begin a comprehensive test campaign this winter to prove the Galileo "mini-constellation" can provide navigation services.

Alternate Names

  • 38858
  • Galileo IOV-2
  • GalileoFM4
  • Tif

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2012-10-12
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-2.1b/Fregat
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Mass: 640 kg

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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