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Launch Of First Galileo GPS Satellite Underway At Baikonur

Illustration of the first craft of the Galileo system, GSTB-V2/A, in orbit.
Moscow (SPX) Dec 01, 2005
The first European satellite of the Galileo system was brought to the Baikonur cosmodrome on Wednesday, reports Itar-Tass. The launch of it on Russia's carrier rocket Soyuz-FG is scheduled for December 26, a cosmodrome official was reported by Itar-Tass as saying Monday.

The satellite will be tested at Baikonur. The European global positioning system Galileo is to begin operation in 2010. It will comprise 30 satellites.

Soyuz booster rockets have been chosen as a basic means of delivery of Galileo communications satellites into orbit. Two first launches of the European craft from Baikonur are planned for December 2005 and September 2006.

The budget of the Galileo system project is 3.4 billion euros. A part of these funds will be paid to Russia for preparation of launches of Soyuz rockets.

After the completion of the construction of a launch pad for Soyuz rockets in French Guiana, launches of the Russian rockets with Galileo satellites will be moved from Baikonur to the equatorial cosmodrome at Kourou.

Two global positioning systems available in the world at present are the US' GPS and Russia's GLONASS.

Russian Federal Space Agency chief Anatoly Perminov said that �Russia is carrying out together with Europe work on the interaction of the two navigation systems�.

Britain's company Surrey Satellite Technology designed the first craft of the Galileo system, GSTB-V2/A.

Before its launch on December 25, the heavy-lift rocket Proton-K is to deliver three GLONASS satellites into orbit.

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Europe Wants To Speed Up Galileo GPS Program
Brussels (SPX) Nov 17, 2005
Former European commissioner Karel Van Miert has been appointed mediator to accelerate Galileo, Europe 's satellite navigation program, said the European Commission on Tuesday.

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