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The EU's Galileo satellite navigation system now has eight satellites in orbit following the launch of the latest pair. Galileo 7 & 8 lifted off at 21:46 GMT (22:46 CET, 18:46 local time) on 27 March from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on top of a Soyuz rocket. All the Soyuz stages performed as planned, with the Fregat upper stage releasing the satellites into their target orbit close to 23 500 km altitude, around 3 hours 48 minutes after liftoff.

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Tomorrow, 27 March, a Soyuz launcher will send on orbit a new pair of Galileo satellites part of Europe’s navigation system. Designated Soyuz Flight VS11 in Arianespace’s numbering system, Soyuz’ 11th launch from the Spaceport in French Guiana is planned for an evening liftoff on March 27 at precisely 18:46 Kourou time, 23:46 Romania time.

Soyuz Flight VS11’s passengers are the latest FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites in the Galileo program, which will contribute to creating a European-operated space-based navigation system.

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ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has made the first measurement of molecular nitrogen at a comet, providing clues about the temperature environment in which Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko formed. The new results are based on 138 measurements collected by the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis instrument, ROSINA, during 17–23 October 2014, when Rosetta was about 10 km from the centre of the comet.

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Update 20 March 2015: The Probe-2 minisatellite caught today the total solar eclipse. Details here.

On 20 March 2015 a total solar eclipse will occur, event which will be visible from Romania only as a partial eclipse, due to the fact that the Sun will be covered at a rate of only 43%. According to the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, the phenomenon will start at 10:45 Romania time, will peak at around 11:55 and will end at around 1:05 p.m., with an average duration in our country of two hours and 20 minutes.

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Update 30.03.2015: On 7 April, the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) will organise a regional kick-off event in Bucharest for this year’s ESNC competition. Details here.

Following an agreement signed with Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) became the regional partner of the European Satellite Navigation Competition - ESNC 2015 and this year will organise the first national edition in Romania.

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