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Satellite carrying name of Slovenian girl ready for takeoff

Kourou, 24 July - An Ariane 5 rocket will be launched from the Guiana Space Centre on Wednesday carrying four satellites to be used as part of the European Galileo navigation system. One of the satellites is named after Tara, a Slovenian girl who won a European drawing competition in 2011.

Ljubljana
The drawing of Slovenian student Tara Keber which earned her the honour of having a satellite named after her.
Photo: Tara Keber's personal archive

"It makes me very proud that a satellite in space will carry my name," the now 17-year-old secondary school student has told the STA.

Tara, also a successful track and field athlete today, is currently attending a summer camp and will not be able to follow the launch on the internet. She joked she "will be watching the sky to see if it perhaps flies by".

The remaining satellites will carry the names Samuel, Anna and Ellen, after a Slovak boy and two girls from Finland and Sweden who also won the Galileo competition dedicated to outer space and aeronautics.

Children born between 2000 and 2002 took part in the competition and the jury picked a winner from each of the 27 EU member states. Each will have a satellite carry their name.

By 2020 the Galileo system, which comprises 22 satellites before Wednesday's launch, is expected to feature 30 satellites. Its estimated costs until that year are EUR 10bn.

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© STA, 2018