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GPS Rival Galileo Set For 2014

  • January 9th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

galileo-site.jpgThe European Commisison  has let the first major temnders for getting its ground positioning system –Galileo- into operation in four years time.

The Commission announced (7.1.10) the order for the first 14 satellites had gone to OHB System in Germany, for  €566-million (A$882.9-million; dcerates.com); the system support services contract to ThalesAleniaSpace in Italy, €85-million (A$132.6-million), and launch services to Arianespace in France,€397-million (A$619.3-million)  .

It said the initial deployment and provision of services – starting with use of the system by emergency services – would begin early in 2014.

The satellites will be put up by Russian Soyuz launchers; eventually 32 satellites will make up the network.

Galileo has been promoted as a civilian rival to the universally deployed American GPS system, which is linked to military uses.

Its design is expected to produce sharper resolution of images.

In 2007 the Galileo project almost stalled when commercial participants pulled out, leading to a decision to fill the gaps with public funding.

Reference

EC, “Commission  awards major contracts …”, 7.1.10, IP/10/7.

See also, EUAustralia: “Going-it-alone with Galileo …” , 17.5.07; “Taxpayers to save Galileo”, 11.5.07; “Space industry”, 27.4.07; “Galileo partners making plans”, 9.12.06.

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