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EUROPEAN COMMISSION - PRESS RELEASE
Galileo: Europe launches its first satellites for smart
navigation system
Brussels, 21 October 2011- Today Europe takes a major step in its history by
launching the first two operational Galileo satellites at 12h30 CET from Kourou,
French Guiana with a Soyuz launcher to reach their orbit at 23.000 kilometres.
Europe is now a step closer to having its own smart satellite navigation system,
which will bring many benefits to our economies and our daily lives. European
industry is in pole position to benefit from the Galileo programme, by providing
businesses and citizens direct access to a satellite navigation signal powered in
Europe.
From 2014, the new constellation will enable improved services ranging from more
precise in-car navigation, effective road transport management, search and rescue
services, more secure banking transactions as well as reliable electricity provision,
which all rely heavily on satellite navigation technologies to work efficiently. The
overall economic impact is estimated to be around 90 billion euro over the next 20
years.
Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said:
“This is a proud moment for all Europeans; today's launch is proof of Europe's
prowess in the field of space activities. I now call on European industry and SMEs, to
seize without delay the important economic opportunities offered by this system –
get innovating now! European citizens can get ready, Galileo is about to be a part of
our daily lives”.
For more information:
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/satnav/galileo/index_en.htm
Galileo: Enhanced global satellite navigation system for Europe
The Galileo programme sets up an enhanced global satellite navigation system,
providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service. It will offer three
services, the Open Service (free of charge), and the Public Regulated Service (PRS)
the Search-and-Rescue Service, as of 2014. Further services to follow later will
include a Commercial Service and a Safety-of-Life Service for higher data
throughput rate and higher accuracy authenticated data.
Today’s launch constitutes the first real building blocks of the full constellation
leading to the provision of essential services by 2014. The two satellites, carrying the
most precise Maser atomic clocks ever – accurate to one second in three million
years – means that the validation of the future 30-satellite constellation can now be
accelerated.
Galileo is interoperable and compatible with GPS.
IP/11/1220
Galileo is expected to deliver €90 billion additional revenues for
industry
No doubt, Europe’s satellite navigation system is on the road to becoming
operational and so the focus must now turn to the provision of services for the benefit
of European citizens and the economy, in line with the Commission's "Europe 2020"
strategy. The system underpins many sectors of the European economy through its
services: electricity grids, fleet management companies, financial transactions,
shipping industry, rescue operations, peace-keeping missions will all benefit from the
free Open Service, the Public Regulated Service and the Search-and-Rescue
service.
In addition, the Galileo programme ensures European know-how in a technology that
is becoming critical, including for such areas as electricity distribution and
telecommunication networks. The system established under the Galileo programme
is expected to deliver €90 billion over a period of 20 years in terms of additional
revenues for industry and in terms of public and social benefits.
EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) is Europe’s regional
augmentation system for GPS signals. It is the precursor to Galileo. The EGNOS
open service is operational since October 2009, and the Commission recently
launched the EGNOS “Safety-of-Life” service for aviation (IP/11/247).
MEMO/11/717
Contacts :
Carlo Corazza +32 2 295 17 52
2
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