Galileo, Galileo, Galileo good two go

Magnifico! Another pair of Euro satnav birds come online for your navigational pleasure

Galileo 7 and 8 liftoff Copyright ESA
Soyuz flight carries Galileo 7 and 8 into orbit. Credit: ESA-CNES-Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG-G.Barbaste

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that two more satellites in its Galileo satnav system are ready to assist you to your destination.

Galileos 7 and 8, which both went aloft on 27 March, are now “performing as planned and meshing with the worldwide Galileo ground network.”

ESA in-orbit test manager David Sanchez-Cabezudo rates the two satellites status as “excellent for navigation purposes” which is good, seeing as that's what the satellites are for. Except when they're guiding nuclear missiles, one application for the rather doublespeaky Public Regulated Service that offers higher precision location services to registered users.

The two satellites are the third and fourth operational craft of a planned 30-bird fleet the ESA expects will all be in place by 2020. The next two satellites to launch, Galileos 11 and 12, are scheduled for liftoff this month on December 17. Galileos 9 and 10 took flight in September 2015 and are currently undergoing testing. ®

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