First Galileo Navigation System Signal Transmitted By New Giove-B Satellite
The European Galileo navigation system has begun operation with the initial signals being received from the newly-launched Giove-B navigation satellite, Astrium announced.
Galileo will compete with the years-old U.S.-sponsored Global Positioning System.
For Giove-B, the in-orbit validation phase will last until 2010, involving four navigation satellites built by Astrium being launched into orbit.
Some question why Europe would be compelled to form a duplicate navigation system, since GPS already exists.
But some are concerned that China has proven its ability to shoot down satellites in orbit, using a ground-based missile to take out an aging Chinese weather satellite. Also, China used a ground-based laser to "paint" and disable a U.S. military satellite.
China has vowed to invade Taiwan and conquer it, unless Taiwan submits, soon, to mainland rule. In that event, the United States is committee to defend Taiwan. Some military analysts expect that China, before launching an invasion, would shoot down U.S. military satellites to blind the American military forces.
Giove-B was launched on a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome. (Please see Space & Missile Defense Report, Monday, April 28, 2008.)
Experts commanded the navigation satellite into its specified operational configuration and tested its individual system functions to make sure they were still in full working order after the stress of the launch. Once the tests on Giove-B were complete, its payload was activated and the first signal was transmitted.