The satellites in question are part of the EU-funded Galileo programme to develop a global navigation satellite system under civilian control.
SpaceX has reportedly signed a deal with the European Space Agency (ESA) to launch up to four of its flagship navigation and communications satellites into orbit.
The deal, which is now pending approval from the European Commission, was first reported on by the Wall Street Journal. ESA director of navigation Javier Benedicto told the outlet that four satellites will be launched from the US next year using the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The satellites in question are part of the EU-funded Galileo programme to develop a global navigation satellite system under civilian control. It provides a range of services to the EU, including the ability to pick up SOS signals and send them to search and rescue services.
Galileo’s goal is to allow users worldwide to know their exact position in time and space with precision and reliability, as an alternative to the non-civilian American GPS or Russian GLONASS signals. It is part of the EU’s attempt to become a global leader in the space sector.
Earlier this month, the ESA launched three new space missions to perform in-orbit tests on technologies before commercialising them. Part of Horizon 2020, the mission consists of six satellites and nine experiments to test technologies with a wide variety of applications.
Earlier in the year, NASA and SpaceX confirmed the Crew-6 mission successfully reached orbit, carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station.
The Crew-6 mission was originally scheduled for 27 February but had to be called off two minutes before the launch due to a ground systems issue relating to ignition.
Following the success of the Crew-6 mission, four astronauts successfully boarded the International Space Station after being flown into space by a SpaceX rocket in late August as part of the NASA Crew-7 mission.
The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX is also in the process of building Starship, planned to be the largest rocket ever, which is expected to launch in the near future and eventually be safe for human spaceflight.
The company is also reportedly planning to open a Dublin office as it looks to expand sales of its Starlink satellite broadband service across the region, according to a Sunday Times report last month.
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