UK space company to play leading role in next phase of Galileo satellite navigation project
2 Feb 2012
Guildford-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) will play a key role in a £200 million plus contract for the next phase of the EU's Galileo satellite navigation project. Galileo is firmly on track for the provision of improved satellite navigation services to the public in 2014.
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Artist's impression of a Galileo satellite.
Three contracts in all were signed today (02 February 2012) by the European Space Agency on behalf of the European Commission at the Commission's London office. European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani and UK Universities and Science Minister David Willetts both witnessed the signing and addressed a gathering of stakeholders and media. (Video and photos will be available via the Europe by Satellite service at http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/).
UK Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:
"It is excellent that that such a significant contract has been awarded to UK industry. This is testament to the continued success of the UK space sector and our strengths in manufacturing highly advanced satellite technology. I’m particularly proud that a British company will be continuing to help progress the Galileo programme."
Galileo will allow users to know their exact position in time and space, just like GPS, but with greater precision and reliability. Under European civilian control, Galileo will be compatible and, for some of its services, interoperable with the American GPS and Glonass (Russia), but independent from them.
Galileo will underpin many sectors of the European economy through its services: electricity grids, fleet management companies, financial transactions, shipping industry, rescue operations, peace-keeping missions will all benefit from the free Galileo services.
The eight satellites ordered today will join the 18 satellites already contracted, of which two are in orbit since 21st October 2011, bringing to 26 the number of satellites by end 2015. A second launch of a further two Galileo satellites will take place later this year.