EU mulls launch of four more Galileo satellites this year

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The European Union has been aggressive in getting its own satellite navigation system in place and according to the commission, it is planning to launch four more Galileo satellites this year for its indigenous satellite navigation programme.

The next launch of Galileo satellites is scheduled for September 2015 and according to the European Commission (EC), it is aiming to start initial Galileo services by 2016 with full services by 2020. Last week, EU successfully launch two more Galileo satellites into orbit with the tally now standing at 8.

Back in August, two satellites were launched but they were delivered to a wrong orbit post which EU halted launch of Galileo satellites. Last Friday’s launch represents resumption of Galileo satellite flights.

The Galileo system will have a total of 30 satellites and the necessary ground infrastructure to control the satellites and enable positioning, navigation and timing services.

The Galileo system is fully financed out of the EU budget and the EU will spend seven billion euros (about $7.62 billion) on satellite navigation, according to the EC.

In 2013, the annual global market for navigation satellite products and services was valued at 175 billion euros (nearly $190.6 billion). It is expected to grow over the next years to an estimated 237 billion euros (nearly $258.1 billion) in 2020.