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Paris – The Ariane 6 rocket, whose inaugural flight is scheduled for this summer, will carry out two launches in 2026 and 2027 to put into orbit the first four new-generation European navigation satellites, Galileo, announced on Monday by Arianespace, the company tasked with marketing the flights.

This order from the European Commission and the European Space Agency for the space program (Euspa), brings to 30 – including 18 for Amazon’s Kuiper constellation – the number of launches in the order book of the European rocket.

“Ariane 6 is completing the final steps that will lead to its first flight this summer, which allows us to consider resuming the deployment of the Galileo constellation from the Guiana Space Centre in 2025,” said Arianespace President Stéphane Israël, quoted in the statement.

The new generation of Galileo includes at this stage 12 satellites, whose construction has been entrusted to Airbus and Thales Alenia Space. Each satellite has a mass of about 2,000 kg. (April 29, 2024)