Press Release

Galileo: break in the negotiations

By SpaceRef Editor
December 23, 2002
Filed under , ,
Galileo: break in the negotiations

Despite the determined efforts of the European Space Agency’s
Executive at a meeting of the ESA Council a little under a
fortnight ago (on 11 and 12 December), it has not proved
possible to obtain unanimous agreement on ESA’s participation
in the Galileo project.

Although 13 of the Agency’s Member States were ready to accept
a compromise solution in the common interest, two (Germany
and Spain) were unable to do so. In the words of Antonio
Rodotà, ESA Director General, “This is a hard blow for
Europe. The entire space industry in Europe will badly suffer
from this break in the negotiations.”

He went on to say that, “While keenly aware of the economic,
industrial and strategic importance of satellite navigation,
our Member States failed to reach an agreement, thereby
delaying the start of the project’s development and
validation phase.”

The ESA Executive will be renewing its efforts to get the
Galileo project back on track immediately after the Christmas

Galileo is intended to complement the existing satellite
navigation system, which relies entirely on GPS, the
American Global Positioning System. Developed by ESA and the
EU on the basis of equal co-funding, Galileo is designed to
provide a complete civil system. Scheduled to be operational
by 2008, it will offer the citizens of Europe and the world
an accurate and secure satellite positioning capability.

A broad range of applications will be supported by the
system: control of road, rail, air and sea traffic,
synchronised data transmission between computers, and many
others. Projections point to very significant economic
benefits, with a return on investment of 4.6 and creation
of over 140 000 jobs.

The Galileo system will be built around 30 satellites (27
operational and 3 reserve craft) occupying three circular
Earth orbits, inclined at 56 deg to the Equator, at an
altitude of 23,616 km. This configuration will provide
excellent coverage of the planet. Two Galileo control
centres will be established in Europe to control satellite
operations and manage the navigation system.

For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Service

Franco Bonacina

Tel: +33 (0)6 08 74 61 09

Related news

* ESA is helping to make road transport more effective

* Galileo receivers — in search of signals to ignore

* Galileo Preliminary System Design Review a success

* Galileo Design Review, a milestone in making Galileo a reality

* Galileo gets the go-ahead

More information

* What is Galileo?

* Why Europe needs Galileo

* Who’s involved in Galileo?

* Market prospects and business opportunities

* Galileo technology developments


[Image 1:]
Global navigation satellite systems help travellers to find
their way.

[Image 2:]
Galileo’s new technology will revolutionise our transport
systems, increasing safety and improving efficiency; this
will make for better quality of life and less pollution
in our cities. Galileo will also bring benefits in other
aspects of everyday life, with precision farming raising
yields, improved information for emergency services
speeding up response times, and more reliable and
accurate time signals underpinning our most vital computer
and communications networks. Credits: ESA-J.Huart

SpaceRef staff editor.