EU Go-ahead for Galileo

European Union Transport Ministers meeting in Brussels have given an official go-ahead for continued development of the Galileo satellite positioning system which will provide an alternative to the comparable GPS network operated by the US Department of Defense.

SEPA’s requirement was for a trailerable boat able to work the full extent of Scotland including the outer Islands off the west coast where sea conditions are seldom ideal for surveying.

Expected to become operational by 2008, Galileo is being co-funded equally by the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA) as a civilian venture with no military involvement. It will eventually comprise 30 satellites (including 3 reserve systems) in three circular medium earth orbits supported by two control centres. Implementation and operation of the system, according to EU sources, will create around 140,000 jobs.

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