Arianespace, Galileo and GMES
Evry, May 2, 2012
The European Commission and the European Space Agency have chosen Arianespace to deploy the entire Galileo constellation. Deployment started in 2005 and 2007 with the launch of the first two experimental satellites, Giove-A and Giove-B, then continued on October 21, 2011 with the first Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center, carrying the first two satellites in the constellation. From now until 2015 deployment of the 24 satellites in the constellation will continue, using six Soyuz and three Ariane 5 rockets. The satellites are now under construction by the European space industry.
The European Commission and ESA have also signed an agreement with Arianespace for the launch of three dedicated missions in the space component of Europe's GMES program – Global Monitoring for Environment and Security. The first of these satellites, Sentinel-1, will be launched by Soyuz, while the next two satellites, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3, will be launched by Vega. http://www.arianespace.com/news-press-release/2012/5-2-2012-Galileo-GMES.asp