Galileo: Giove-B demonstrator set for launch
Date: Thursday, March 06 @ 16:37:01 UTC
Giove-B has at long last received a go for launch. Galileo you may recall, is the planned European owned and operated GPS Network. Beset by delays and financial wrangling, Galileo only recently got the funding necessary to continue trials agreed by the participating member states.
Originally scheduled for flight alongside its twin Giove-A, which was launched in December 2005, Giove-B has, much like the entire Galileo program, suffered delay after delay including component failure during pre-launch tests and the lack of available launch rockets.
Giove-B is the second Galileo demonstrator, designed to test key technologies including the most advanced atomic clock ever to be put into orbit. Atomic clocks are integral to GPS Satellite systems and better timing brings more accurate positioning. Galileo has been designed to offer greatly increased positional accuracy under much tougher reception conditions and it is also planned to offer chargeable services for commercial users as well as a specific search and rescue function.
Giove-B will shortly move from the test facility in Holland to the launch site at Baikonaur spaceport in Russia and is scheduled for flight in late April.
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