Galileo: first operational satellites to be launched on 20 October

The European Commission (EC) has announced that the launch of the first two operational satellites of the EU's global navigation satellite system will take place on 20th October 2011. The satellites will be launched from Europe's Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana, and at an altitude of 23.600km they will be capable of providing initial satellite navigation services in 2014.  Successive launches will complete the constellation by 2019.

The Galileo programme is a European initiative whose goal is to put in place a global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control.

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