21:27 GMT31 May 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Two Galileo navigation satellites will be launched into space in December from the Kourou space centre in French Guiana on a Russian Soyuz launch vehicle, instead of the Ariane 6 carrier rocket, a source in the rocket and space industry said.

    "It was decided to launch two Galileo satellites by the Soyuz-ST-B rocket from Kourou. The date is tentative - 15 December, as it depends on the timing of the space centre's opening after the coronavirus-related quarantine", the source said.

    He said that initial plans had been to launch these satellites into space on the Ariane 6 rocket, but its blastoff had been postponed until mid-2021.

    The Galileo project had been in work since 1999, when the European Union embarked on a plan to assemble its own network of satellites, with the first ones put into orbit in 2013.

    According to the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency, Galileo is Europe’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), which provides improved positioning and timing information with significant positive implications for many European services and users.

    The system is one of the global navigation systems in the world, working alongside the US's GPS, Russia's GLONASS, and China's BeiDou.

    Tags:
    Kourou, Soyuz, Galileo satellite
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