EU announces launch date for first Galileo satellites

May 23, 2011
A computer-generated image shows three satellites, part of the European Galileo navigation system network. The European Union has announced it will launch the first two satellites in its long-delayed and hugely over-budget Galileo navigation system from French Guiana on October 20.

The European Union announced Monday it will launch the first two satellites in its long-delayed and hugely over-budget Galileo navigation system from French Guiana on October 20.

EU industry commissioner Antonio Tajani said the launch, from the Kourou spacesport in the European enclave at the northern tip of South America, would take place at 7:00 am local time and the satellites would carry the names of Belgian and Bulgarian children.

Intended to rival the US-built (GPS) and Chinese and Russian projects, the Galileo programme's costs have risen to 5.4 billion euros ($7.2 billion).

Scheduled to go online in 2014 -- six years later than originally planned -- it envisages an initial of 18 satellites.

Europe wants to end its dependence on the US GPS system in a market the European Commission has said would grow from 130 billion euros in 2010 to 240 billion euros in 2020.

Explore further: Europe Wants To Speed Up Galileo GPS Program

Related Stories

Europe Wants To Speed Up Galileo GPS Program

November 18, 2005

Former European commissioner Karel Van Miert has been appointed mediator to accelerate Galileo, Europe 's satellite navigation program, said the European Commission on Tuesday.

Two years in space for Galileo satellite

December 19, 2007

On 28 December, it will be two years since GIOVE-A - the first Galileo satellite - was launched by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, in Kazakhstan. This satellite demonstrates the progress Europe has made in setting up its own ...

EU's Galileo satnav system over budget, late: report

October 7, 2010

Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system, meant to rival the US-built Global Positioning System (GPS), is over budget, running late and will be unprofitable for years, a press report said on Thursday.

EU rejects 'exorbitant' price talk for Galileo maps

October 26, 2010

A top European official slapped down reports on Tuesday that the much-delayed Galileo satellite navigation system could be 20 billion euros over budget, as he named a new contractor for the project.

Europe defends 'stupid' Galileo satellite

January 18, 2011

Europe stood by its much-delayed and over-budget Galileo satellite navigation system on Tuesday despite a rising price tag and a contractor's description of the project as "stupid."

Recommended for you

What happens when your brain can't tell which way is up?

October 13, 2015

In space, there is no "up" or "down." That can mess with the human brain and affect the way people move and think in space. An investigation on the International Space Station seeks to understand how the brain changes in ...

Hubble sees an aging star wave goodbye

October 12, 2015

This planetary nebula is called PK 329-02.2 and is located in the constellation of Norma in the southern sky. It is also sometimes referred to as Menzel 2, or Mz 2, named after the astronomer Donald Menzel who discovered ...

What are white holes?

October 9, 2015

Black holes are created when stars die catastrophically in a supernova. So what in the universe is a white hole?


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.