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News: Could Galileo be for the chop?

The the European Union in the midst of talks over how to spend it's budget there's a possibility that Galileo may be for the chop in an effort to cut costs.

Galileo is Europe's answer to the US Navstar GPS network and, as seems to be the usual case for massive EU projects, it is massively over budget and is years behind the original date scheduled for a full fleet of satellites. Currently only four test satellites have made it into orbit.

Whilst the operational justifications for Europe having its own GPS network are weak, especially in the current financial climate, Galileo does promise increased accuracy, better protection from jamming, and operational independence from Navstar. Many forget that Navstar is operated by the US Department of Defence and we use it at their pleasure.

But can all this justify the massive costs? It is estimated that more than 8 billion is still required to complete the deployment of Galileo. More than 4 billion has already been spent on a project whose total cost was estimated at 3.4 billion when first proposed.

Even if the EU can find the money to continue with Galileo,, they have a difficult decision to make. Should they cancel the programme and write off all the money spent to date including the loss of jobs, or should they struggle on?

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Posted on Thursday, February 07 @ 20:49:37 UTC by Darren Griffin

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