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EU to launch two navigation satellites in Oct as Galileo saves money

24 мая 2011

Europe will launch its first two navigation satellites in October as the region's long-delayed Galileo project, which aims to compete with the U.S. Global Positioning System, is now running on schedule and saving money, the European Commissioner for Industry said Monday.

"We are aiming at savings and we have already made savings," Antonio Tajani said during a press conference. Two satellites are going to be launched Oct. 20, and this is already a sign that "things are pressing ahead very successfully," he added.

Tajani didn't specify how much money has been saved in the Galileo satellite navigation system project, the cost of which, until 2013, was estimated at EUR3.4 billion. However, he said he would have more details in a few weeks, once the last contracts for the program's development were signed.

Galileo will be publicly funded after private aerospace and defense companies, the initial financiers, doubted its profitability and backed out. It is expected to initially comprise 18 satellites that should be in operation by 2014 at the latest.

The commission last year awarded more than EUR1 billion in contracts to develop the system, with German space technology company OHB-System AG, a unit of OHB Technology AG, getting the biggest deal, to provide 14 satellites.

Источник: Total Telecom

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