First Galileo Satellites to take off in October
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The first two operational satellites of the EU's global navigation satellite system, Galileo, will take off on 20th October from Europe's Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana. This first launch will be followed by a series of launches that will by 2014 provide for initial navigation services. The full satellite constellation is expected to be deployed in orbit by 2019.

The Galileo programme is the EU's initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control.

It will underpin many sectors of the European economy through its services: electricity grids, fleet management companies, financial transactions, shipping industry, rescue operations, peace-keeping missions.

While providing autonomous navigation and positioning services, the system established under the Galileo program will at the same time be interoperable with GPS and GLONASS, the two other global satellite navigation systems. The fully deployed system will consist of 30 satellites and the associated ground infrastructure.

(source: http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/press/frontpage/2011/1167_en.htm)

 
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