More cash for road-pricing satellites

Galileo picks up another €31m
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Galileo picks up another €31m

The government is spending another €31m on the European Space Agency's development of the Galileo satellite navigation system.

Likely applications for Galileo once it is operational will include road pricing across the UK, from around 2014. (Click here to see photos of the satellites.)

Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said Galileo has real potential to develop "groundbreaking" technology leading to more accurate in-car navigation and new systems for the emergency services to locate missing or injured people.

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UK businesses are playing a big role in the development of the system - Astrium UK and LogicaCMG are major partners in Galileo Industries, the consortium of European companies that will build the first four test satellites. The Galileo Operations Company will also be operated from London.

In addition, Surrey Satellite Technology has already led a consortium that built and launched the Giove-A demonstrator satellite.

The government is supporting a bid - backed by the Welsh Assembly Government - for Cardiff to host the Galileo Supervisory Authority.

The €31m is the UK's contribution to the European Space Agency's share of the development costs, equivalent to the contribution from the other major contributors France, Germany and Italy.

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