Feeds

Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico

I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Relevant Youtube video is relevant

The European Space Agency has launched the fifth and sixth Galileo satellites from its launch pad in French Guiana. The boffins are now increasing the frequency of launches to get the entire network of 30 orbital birds ready by 2017 – three years early.

The latest sats were launched on Friday at 1227 GMT using a Russian-built Soyuz rocket. Three hours and 47 minutes later, the two were successfully deployed at an altitude of 23,500km. There they began communications with the Galileo Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, and the Galileo testing facility in Redu, Belgium.

"Following the successful qualification of the system during the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase, achieved with four satellites launched in 2011 and 2012, the Galileo satellites are being produced and readied for the launch pad in series," said the ESA.

"The deployment of the constellation will now gather pace, with six to eight satellites launched per year using a series of Soyuz and Ariane launches from the CSG, along with finalisation of the remaining elements of the ground network. The final constellation will consist of 24 satellites expected to be ready in 2017 and complemented by six in orbit spares."

The ESA had planned to have 18 satellites aloft and was expecting to have the full grid operational by 2020, but the early finalization of the satellite hardware and the purchase of additional Soyuz and Ariane parts has allowed it to get ahead of schedule.

Galileo

"Show me the way to go home..."

There's good reason to move things forward faster – anyone who's anyone is getting a satellite navigation system in place. Russia is updating its partial GLONASS system deployed during the Cold war; China already has its Beidou network providing GPS in the Middle Kingdom; and India's IRNSS system has two birds aloft.

All of this means that the rest of the world won't have to ask American military satellites for directions, and provides a valuable insurance system if the US-controlled GPS network ever gets shut down for any reason. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.