The European Commission has given a provisional approval for the agreement between the European Space Agency and SpaceX. According to the contract, the latter will receive 180 million euros to launch four Galileo satellites next year.

The Galileo satellites must be launched into space during two separate launches with the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. These launches are planned for April and July 2024, European Commissioner Thierry Breton said during a press conference attended by SpaceNews, among others. writes about. According to him, a security agreement still needs to be negotiated to protect ‘sensitive technologies’ on the satellites. Previously, these satellites were launched in the EU, but with SpaceX the launch will take place in the United States. Only then can the contract be finalized.

It became clear last month that the ESA has concluded an agreement with SpaceX. Insiders told The Wall Street Journal that the EU would prefer not to depend on American companies to launch critical infrastructure, but that it nevertheless has “no choice” due to delays with Arianespace’s Ariane 6 rocket and the decision not to use Russian to use missiles because of the war in Ukraine. Another Arianespace rocket, the Vega C, is out of action a failed launch in December 2022. Breton states during the press conference that he is ‘not happy with what happened’. “We were promised a timetable, but it was not kept.” He confirms that these setbacks led him to accept the ESA’s proposal to use Falcon 9 rockets.

Finally, SpaceNews writes about another agreement, between the Italian space company Avio and Arianespace, which has also been provisionally approved by the EC. Under this agreement, Avio is expected to take over the launch and sales responsibilities of the Vega rockets from Arianespace next year. The agreement between the two companies is expected to be completed in mid-2024. It is still unclear which of the two parties will take care of the seventeen Vega launches that are currently planned.

Launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

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