LISBON, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa praised the success of the first launch of Europe's Galileo satellites on Friday.
A European Ariane 5 rocket successfully placed four European Galileo satellites into medium-Earth orbit on Thursday.
Operating from Europe's Guiana Space Center, on the northeast coast of South America, the Ariane 5 rocket was monitored from the island of Santa Maria, in the Portuguese Azores islands, with the supervision of software development company Edisoft.
"This technological company in the areas of defence and aerospace industry and the Azores islands deserve congratulations because Portugal has confirmed its role as a geostrategic space center," Rebelo de Sousa said in an official statement, adding that the rocket has national technology on board.
He pointed out that the Portuguese software RTEMS was in orbit in 11 satellites in the Galileo network.
The launch of Ariane 5 was the first used for the Galileo program, with all previous launches being by Europeanized Russian Soyuz rockets.