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Thales Alenia Space ships first two Galileo satellites to launch site

14 September 2011

Thales Alenia Space ships first two Galileo satellites to launch site

Rome, September 14, 2011. Thales Alenia Space has shipped the first two flight model of a Galileo navigation satellite to Europe’s launch base in French Guiana. There they will undergo a final test campaign prior to a launch by Arianespace. Liftoff, on a Soyuz vehicle, is scheduled on October 20 with both satellites.

The satellite rolled out today, together with the first one shipped last week, is part of a batch of four designed and built by Astrium Satellites, the industrial prime contractor of the space segment, under contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase. IOV will demonstrate the capabilities of the Galileo system prior to the deployment of the full constellation which is planned to reach 30 satellites in its final configuration. In addition to providing key equipments for the navigation payload and platform, Thales Alenia Space, with a dedicated team involving up to one hundred of highly experienced resources in some crucial phases, is in charge of the assembly, integration and test (AIT) phase of the four satellites. The second pair of IOV satellites will be launched by 2012.

“We are extremely proud to get prepared and on time this crucial and significant milestone in the whole wide space world” – stated Sergio Greco SVP Business Segment Navigation & Integrated Communications -. “With the departure of the first two IOV satellites from our company, we start out the concrete realization of the Galileo project that, finally, will allow Europe to be competitive on a global market of the space technologies”.

Thales Alenia Space has been a major partner of the Galileo program since its very inception, with the ground-based Galileo System Test Bed in 2003 and as lead subcontractor for the GIOVE-B demonstrator, launched in 2008. As prime contractor for the Galileo System support, Thales Alenia Space provides industrial system support to ESA regarding system engineering, system performance, system assembly, integration and validation, signal-in-space engineering, security engineering and product assurance. Thales Alenia Space is also prime contractor for the development and deployment of the Galileo Mission Segment (GMS) and the Galileo Security Facility (GSF) that will control the overall navigation system from the ground. Moreover, Thales Alenia Space will provide the signal generation units and the antennas, both key elements of the navigation payload, for the first 14 satellites already ordered to start deployment of the Full Operational Capability (FOC) constellation.

The definition phase and the development and In-Orbit Validation phase of the Galileo programme were carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) and co-funded by ESA and the European Commission.

The Full Operational Capability phase of the Galileo programme is managed and fully funded by the European Commission. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

Thales Alenia Space’s facility in Rome is the most adapted satellite production plant in Europe for the integration of large series of satellites for constellations. Initially commissioned for mobile communication satellites, it has already been able to deliver 72 first generation and 12 second-generation Globalstar satellites, with 36 more under contract. Eight satellites are also in production there for the O3B constellation to provide Internet trunking for developing countries.

With its extensive expertise of the Galileo system and its capacity to produce large series of highly sophisticated satellites, Thales Alenia Space holds unique assets to support the current and future developments of Europe’s space infrastructure.

About Thales Alenia Space
The European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecommunications, radar and optical Earth observation, defense and security, navigation and science. With consolidated revenues of 2 billion euros in 2010, Thales Alenia Space has 7,200 employees at 10 industrial sites in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium.

Thales Alenia Space Press Contact
Sandrine Bielecki Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94 sandrine.bielecki@thalesaleniaspace.com
Tiziana Ebano Tel: +39 06 41512574 tiziana.ebano@thalesaleniaspace.com

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