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Ariane flight VA244 is an Ariane 5 space launch of four Galileo satellites that occurred from the Guiana Space Centre on 25 July 2018 at 11:25:01 UTC. It was the 99th launch of Ariane 5, the 3rd in 2018, and the final flight of Ariane 5 ES variant[1].

Ariane flight VA244
The Ariane 5 launch vehicle, four Galileo satellites, and a toucan, depicted in front of the Earth surrounded by rings in the colors of the Brazilian flag
Artwork featured on visitors' brochures
Ariane 5 ES launch
Launch25 July 2018 (2018-07-25), 11:25:01 UTC
PadKourou ELA-3
PayloadGalileo × 4
Serial no.596
Ariane launches
← VA242
VA243 →



The launcher was carrying 4 Galileo satellites, with a total payload mass of approximately 3,379 kilograms (7,449 lb). The satellites were accommodated inside the medium version of the upper stage fairing.[2]

Galileo SAT 23-24-25-26Edit

The 4 Galileo FOC-M8 satellites were built by OHB System in Bremen, Germany for the European Commission's Galileo programme under the supervision of the ESA. They had a mass at liftoff of about 738 kilograms (1,627 lb) each, that is a total of approximately 2,952 kilograms (6,508 lb).[2] They are assigned to the constellation's orbital plane B, where they are providing additional coverage and performance to the now complete initial constellation composed of 24 operational satellites plus 2 in-orbit spares, all of which having been put into orbit by Arianespace.

The satellites, numbered 23, 24, 25 and 26, are named respectively Tara, Samuel, Anna and Ellen, after children who won the European Commission's Galileo drawing competition.

Mission descriptionEdit

Launch dateEdit

The 4th Arianespace launch of 2018 took place on 25 July 2018 at 11:25:01 UTC (08:25:01 local time) from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana.[3][4] It took place before launch VA243 after this one was postponed. It is planned to be the last Galileo deployment carried out by the Ariane 5 ES rocket, two Ariane 6 A62 being foreseen for the deployment of an additional 4 to complete the constellation.


The mission was planned to last 3 hours, 56 minutes and 54 seconds, placing the two pairs of satellites into their medium Earth orbit, at an altitude of about 22,922 kilometres (14,243 mi) (corresponding to a semi-major axis of 29,300 kilometres (18,200 mi), 300 kilometres (190 mi) below Galileo operational orbit) and an inclination of about 56 degrees.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ "VA244 Mission Update: Arianespace continues the momentum for Europe's Galileo constellation with another Ariane 5 success". Arianespace. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "VA244 Launch Kit" (PDF). Arianespace. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b "VA244 Press Release: Arianespace orbits four more Galileo satellites, as Ariane 5 logs its 99th mission". Arianespace. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Mission VA244 : Arianespace met en orbite quatre satellites de la constellation Galileo avec la 99e Ariane 5" (PDF). Arianespace (in French). 25 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.