Europeans launch the first Galileo satellite

Europeans launch the first Galileo satelliteOn Thursday, with the Spaceport in French Guiana should start Russian carrier rocket "Soyuz" spacecraft with two European navigation system Galileo.

The satellites are part of a larger project that aims to improve significantly in the future satellite navigation system and provide more accurate data than the current U.S. system is now GPS.

To Galileo is fully earned, in orbit 28 satellites will bring.

To date, the European Commission, which initiated the project, has gained only 18 devices.
The European Space Agency (ESA) acts as the European Commission's technical partner in the project.
They are scheduled to be launched before 2015.

The first launch of the "Union" in the West

Start of the "Union" is scheduled for 7.34 am local time (11.34, London, 14.34 Moscow time).
This launch is also referred to as a landmark because the first time a Russian rocket will be launched from the territory west of the country. Usually "Unions" will start from Baikonur or Plesetsk.

ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain admits that before the start experiencing the excitement.
"I've always said that the rocket complex machines. And even if the" Union "is the most reliable system in the world, I'll be glad when it's over," he told the BBC BBC.

"Union" is to bring the two Galileo satellites to a height of 23,222 kilometers.

With the help of these devices, and the other two platforms, which will be launched next year, the engineers expect to test the system and approve the final configuration theft alarm Galileo.

If not found serious shortcomings, the orbit will withdraw another 14 machines that will run the "pairs" and "fours".

After that group of 18 satellites forming a preliminary working network.

Compatible with GPS, but rather

Galileo will be the third satellite navigation system. In October, was launched Russian GLONASS system
Compared with the GPS, Galileo used in more precise atomic clocks, that is the central element of any navigation system.

In theory, the data transmitted by Galileo, can be much more accurate than the current U.S. system. If using a GPS-signal available can be located with an accuracy of about 10 meters, the European system is going to bring about a possible error of up to one meter.

It is expected that the two systems are compatible and interoperable, which is good for people, as the signal for their browsers (and other systems) will be more accurate and more stable reception.

Today, GPS is not just a car navigators. GPS time is used by banks, recording transactions around the world, the system is actively used by telecommunication companies use it to synchronize operation of energy systems.

"I am convinced that not only Europe needs Galileo, said Dordain. More and more services are working on satellite signals. Having two or even three orbital constellations will make the service more accurate."

Public investment in the future

The possibility of development of the European satellite navigation system began to study in the early 1990s.

Initially, the project was conceived as a joint venture between the public and private funding.
On the way of the project there is a huge number of technical, financial and political obstacles. The company was close to collapse in 2007. And even now the work is behind schedule.

After all, the European Commission decided to fund the project entirely from public funds, that is, at the expense of the European taxpayer.

What was originally was supposed to do with the citizens of the EU's € 1 billion, will now cost more than 5 billion and this is not counting the annual costs of maintaining the project in the amount of 800 million euros.

The European Commission hopes that eventually the project will help the development of a number of branches of the economy and attract investment in them.

According to experts, the turnover of different enterprises, whose business is connected with GPS, tens of billions of euros a year. Commissioning of the new European satellite constellation is designed to give impetus to the development of these areas of business.

In October 2011, the Russian Ministry of Defense has announced the withdrawal of the orbit of the 24th GLONASS satellite system. It is expected that in November, the system is run completely and GLONASS signal will be accepted across the globe.

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