First two Galileo satellites are launched today
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Europe is finally set to begin the rollout of its long-awaited satellite navigation system, Galileo.

The Soyuz rocket stands ready on its new launch pad in Sinnamary, French Guiana

Today (Oct 20th 2011), the first two Galileo satellites will ride to orbit atop a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana. The pair incorporate next-generation technologies that should deliver more precise timing and location data than the current American GPS network. A further 28 satellites will be needed to complete its orbiting constellation. So far, the European Commission (EC), which initiated the project, has purchased only 18 satellites. These will fly between now and early 2015.

Lift-off for the Soyuz is timed for 07:34 local time (10:34 GMT; 11:34 BST). (Watch online)

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