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SPACE: EUROPE LAUNCHES DEFINITION PHASE OF GALILEO PROGRAMME.

A key stage in the development of the European satellite navigation system Galileo was embarked upon on December 7 with the European Space Agency (ESA) signing a Euro 20 million contract in Paris on the study of GalileoSat, a contribution to the definition phase of the Galileo programme. The Commission has meanwhile endorsed the signing of four contracts with an industrial consortium led by Alenia Aerospazio (bringing together more than fifty European sub-contractors), also concerning Galileo's definition phase (from November 1999 to December 2000).

Once it is deployed, Galileo, a global multi-modal satellite navigation system, will not only give Europe its independence in the field of telematic transport and infrastructure management, it will also provide an important source of revenue for European equipment manufacturers and service industries, according to a press release published by the ESA on September 7. According to current projections, the system will consist of at least 21 satellites (in terrestrial orbit at an average altitude of 24,000 kilometres to be complemented later by geostationary satellites at 36,000 km) and an associated land-based infrastructure. The total estimated cost of the project is Euro 2.7 billion, of which an initial Euro 80 million, split equally between the European Commission and the ESA, has been allocated by EU Ministers to the on-going definition phase. The massive financial injection needed to fund subsequent stages is currently being examined and proposals will be submitted for approval to the EU Council of Ministers and the ESA Board. Under the existing proposals, Galileo will be operational in 2005, with the system reaching cruising speed in 2008. The contract signed by the ESA in Paris covers the definition of Galileo's space sector (satellite constellation) and ground systems. Of the four European Commission contracts, the principal contract, dubbed GALA, is worth Euro 27 million and covers the definition phase, the aim being to ensure that architectural design is properly coordinated and entirely coherent. The GALA industrial consortium is led by Alcatel Space and involves more than sixty European companies. The three other Commission contracts cover complementary aspects of Galileo such as the definition of services and standardisation. Coordination between the ESA and the European Commission over the management of Galileo is entrusted to a Programme Board which reports to an EU Steering Committee.

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Comment:SPACE: EUROPE LAUNCHES DEFINITION PHASE OF GALILEO PROGRAMME.
Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Dec 11, 1999
Words:381
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