Friday

30th Sep 2022

First Galileo satellite lifts off

The European Union's first satellite of the Galileo navigation program has been launched from Kazakhstan, a move considered as the start of Europe's space race with the US.

The 600 kg British built spacecraft, named "Giove A," took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on a Soyuz rocket early Wednesday morning (28 December).

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The satellite is part of Galileo, the €3.4 billion system from which the EU is aiming to deploy a total of 30 satellites by 2010.

The network will provide access to precise timing and location services delivered from space to the bloc's member states, currently relying on a system controlled by the US millitary.

The Galileo project, which is designed to rival America's Global Positioning System, aims to revolutionise industries including transport and will be used in maritime, rail and other navigation systems.

It will help the EU to set up a new air-traffic control system, allowing pilots to fly their own routes and altitudes, BBC reported.

The European governments will get tools needed to introduce wide-scale road charging, while mobile phone users will be able to pinpoint hospitals, car parking lots or hotels thanks to a Galileo chip integrated in their phones.

Giove A will test technologies needed for the other components of the project, like the in-orbit performance of two atomic clocks or radio frequencies assigned to Galileo within the International Telecommunications Union.

Galileo is a joint project between the EU and the European Space Agency, and is regarded by experts as Europe's largest space project to date.

US university cracks secret EU satellite code

A university in the US has cracked the secret codes of the European satellite system Galileo's first satellite in orbit, making it doubtful that the €3.4 billion project will pay for itself through commercial fees as promised by Brussels.

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