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Dec 28, 2005

Europe's First GPS Satellite Launch A Success

The European Union took its first step towards challenging American and Russian dominance of the skies with the launch its first Galileo navigation satellite on Wednesday. Reuters quoted the Russian space agency Roskosmos as saying that the satellite named Giove-A (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) went into its orbit 23,000 km (15,000 miles) from the earth after its launch on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

The satellite is the first of a planned 30 satellites planned that should end Europe's reliance on the American GPS as well as compete with the system run by the U.S. military. Russia currently has 19 of a planned 24 satellite constellation in orbit. Both are projected to be operational by 2008, though Russian President Vladmir Putin recently urged his country to speed up their program.

See previous post: World Prepares To Challenge U.S. Dominance In GPS.