Next Galileo GPS satellites get launch date

Next Galileo GPS satellites get launch date

Summary: The third and fourth satellites in Europe's Galileo constellation, a rival to the US GPS system, will be sent into space in September.European Commission vice president Antonio Tajani announced the launch schedule on Wednesday, adding that further launches will come more frequently next year.

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The third and fourth satellites in Europe's Galileo constellation, a rival to the US GPS system, will be sent into space in September.

European Commission vice president Antonio Tajani announced the launch schedule on Wednesday, adding that further launches will come more frequently next year. The first two Galileo satellites went up last October, and the next two will join them on 28 September.

Galileo satellites

Two more satellites will join the European Galileo constellation in September. Image credit: ESA/J Huart

"Galileo continues to deliver, is on track and within the agreed budget. I call upon European companies and in particular on the many small and medium size enterprises to get down to business, to innovate and be ready with their products when we deliver Galileo in 2014," Tajani said.

Tajani noted that the satellite navigation market was currently valued at €125bn (£102bn) and was expected to double in value by 2020.

"European industry should be ready to seize a vast market which is there for the taking. This is what we urgently need in the current economic climate," Tajani said.

Galileo faces competition not only from GPS, but also from China's Beidou and Russia's GLONASS constellations. Beidou is already operational and added two more satellites just days ago, while GLONASS is also up and running and is already supported in some Sony Ericsson handsets.

Topic: Telcos

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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