(AP) -- The Czech government has signed a deal for Prague to host the headquarters of an ambitious satellite navigation system that is meant to become the main rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System.
The deal was signed Friday in Prague by Czech Transport Minister Pavel Dobes and Carlo des Dorides, executive director of the European GNSS Agency.
The EU wants to dominate the future with a system known as Galileo that is more precise and more reliable than GPS, while controlled by civil authorities.
It foresees applications ranging from precision seeding on farmland to pinpoint positioning for search-and-rescue missions. On top of that, the EU hopes it will reap a financial windfall.
The system with a network of 30 satellites is expected to become operational in 2014.
Explore further: Mark Kelly, twin brother enlisted for NASA study