Europe launches four more Galileo satellites on the orbit. Europe has 26 satellites. The four satellites were launched on Wednesday. These 26 satellites are helping Europe to move a step closer to build its own navigation system. The four more Galileo navigation satellites are made of Europe’s own version of GPS dreams.
These satellites are going to be a part of the European Union’s GPS. It took off from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket at around 6 pm IST, European Space Agency (ESA).
What is Galileo?
Galileo is a civilian system which is under the control of the civilians, which would provide accurate positioning and timing information. Galileo has been providing positioning and timing services to more than 400 million users since December 2016.
The launch of the four more satellites brings the constellation close to Galileo’s full operational capability. Once the constellation is complete Galileo will be the most precise satellite navigation system in the world.
All four Galileo satellites are named after those children whose drawings won the Galileo Drawing Competition in 2011. The four satellites launched on July 25 were named after the following winners;
- Tara from Slovenia,
- Samuel from Slovakia,
- Anna from Finland and
- Ellen from Sweden
The EU with its Galileo Satellites will be stepping into the global market for satellite navigation services. EU estimates that the market would be worth 250 billion Euros (Rs 2,000 crore roughly) by the year 2022.