The European Union discarded Russian rockets


The European Space Agency refused to use Russian rockets “Soyuz-ST” to launch the satellite navigation system Galileo this year.

This was announced at a press conference in Paris by the head of the ESA Johann-Dietrich Wörner.

“This year we will launch the first Galileo satellites with the Ariane 5”, – he said. Its launch is scheduled for October 2016. The European heavy-class carrier is able to launch 4 Galileo satellites at once, unlike Russian middle class rockets that are able to bring only 2 satellites at a time.

In 2016, only one launch of “Soyuz-ST” will be performed at the Guiana Space Center, bringing a remote sensing satellite Sentinel-1B to the orbit on April 12. Previously, all Galileo satellites were launched using a Russian rocket “Soyuz-ST”.

Currently, there are 12 Galileo devices at the orbit. The completion of the deployment of the European global navigation system is scheduled for 2020. By that time the satellite constellation should include at least 24 units. ESA’s expenses at the Galileo system are estimated at 12 billion euros.