Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Space policy: Galileo constellation continues to grow

Space policy: Galileo constellation continues to grow
Published on: 12/12/2017
One year after Europe's satellite navigation system Galileo started offering initial services to public authorities, businesses and citizens, four additional satellites were successfully launched into orbit yesterday, bringing the constellation to 22 satellites. The successful operation took place with a European launcher Ariane 5 from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Rocket lifting off with Galileo satellites

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Galileo is improving the life of EU citizens by allowing smartphones to navigate more efficiently and accurately, and by helping emergency services reach accident sites much faster than before. With this successful launch, the Galileo constellation is reinforced and on the right track to full operational capability by 2020.”

Galileo is a key component of the European Commission's Space Strategy, which focuses on fostering new services, creating business opportunities, promoting Europe's leadership in space and maintaining Europe's strategic autonomy. The high-precision global satellite navigation system already supports emergency operations, provides more accurate navigation services, offers better time synchronisation for critical infrastructures and ensures secure services for public authorities. A growing number of companies and innovative start-ups are using Galileo data and enabling their devices, including the new versions of iPhones (find out if your device is Galileo-enabled). Once the constellation is complete, it will improve in-car navigation and mobile phone signals, help road and rail transport become safer, and act as a catalyst for R&D and high-tech job creation around Europe.

Watch the launch

More background information on the launch

EU space policy factsheet