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European navigation system Galileo officially launched

The first services offered by the European satellite navigation system Galileo are available beginning today. The services are at the disposal of authorities, companies and citizens, announced the European Commission.

Galileo is the European response to the US Global Positioning System (GPS) which is military in origin, to the Russian Glonass and the Chinese Beidou.

Eighteen of the twenty-four satellites of the system are already in space, which is sufficient to begin. By 2020, Galileo will be supported by 30 satellites, six of which will be reserve satellites.

In the first phase, signals will not always be available. Navigation will therefore also be supported by other systems, such as GPS.

Funded by the European Union, the project was developed by the European Space Agency. 

(Source: Belga)