August 23, 2018

Key milestones

1 January 2017: Operational control of the Galileo positioning system is transferred to GSA, now the European GNSS1 Agency.

15 December 2016: The Galileo system is declared operational as initial services come on stream.

17 November 2016 / 12 December 2017
: Four Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites are launched by Ariane 5.

27 March 2015 / 11 September 2015 / 17 December 2015 / 24 May 2016
: Four pairs of Galileo FOC satellites are launched by Soyuz to establish the positioning constellation.

22 August 2014
: The first two Galileo FOC satellites are launched. Due to an anomaly on the upper stage of the Soyuz launcher, the two satellites are unable to reach their intended orbit and are used instead to test and validate the constellation’s signals. They are scheduled to join the service in 2018.

12 March 2013
: First successful positioning by the Galileo system with the four active In Orbit Validation (IOV) satellites and ground stations.

12 October 2012
: Launch of the last two Galileo IOV satellites.

21 October 2011
: Launch of the first two Galileo IOV satellites from Kourou. The IOV phase is intended to establish the Galileo infrastructure and pave the way for the operational phase.

27 April 2008
: Launch of GIOVE-B, carrying the first hydrogen maser atomic clock in space.

28 December 2005
: Launch of GIOVE-A (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element), a first technology demonstrator satellite. GIOVE-A emits Europe’s first positioning signal and validates its interoperability with signals from the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).

12 July 2004
: Creation of GSA, the European GNSS Supervisory Authority, managed by the European Union.

26 May 2003
: Agreement between the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) to launch the European Galileo positioning system project.

: Testing of Galileo Test Bed Version 1 based on the U.S. GPS to establish technical specifications.

10 February 1999
: The European Commission adopts the communication on ‘Galileo - Involving Europe in a New Generation of Satellite Navigation Services’.

26 January 1998
: Letter from the European Commission to the European Parliament to establish a European contribution to the development of a GNSS.

1 Global Navigation Satellite System

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