SES ASTRA announced this week (16 March) that it has been selected by the European Commission (EC) to provide services to the European navigation service EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service). EGNOS is managed by the EC on behalf of the European Union (EU). Under the terms of the contract, SES ASTRA will supply the EU with a tailor-made payload as well as the related necessary ground infrastructure. The payload will operate in L-band and be located on SES ASTRA’s new SIRIUS 5 satellite. SIRIUS 5 is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2011 and is currently under construction by Space Systems/Loral. SES ASTRA is planning to start operating the EGNOS payload by year-end 2011. EGNOS supplements the primary GPS – and in the future also the GLONASS and GALILEO – navigation systems by reporting and improving the reliability and accuracy of the signals. It will also provide European navigation services ahead of the deployment of GALILEO. The EGNOS service is available over Europe and northern Africa and will be fully compatible with GALILEO.