Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Europe will fund Galileo
New Scientist reports: [edited]
European taxpayers will be footing the bill for the Galileo satellite navigation network.
Europe wants an independent system of global positioning satellites so that it doesn't have to rely on others, such as the American GPS network, or Russia's Glonass and China's nascent Beidou networks, all of which are publicly funded.
To pay for it, the European Commission tried to cajole eight aerospace firms into paying €2 billion towards the €3.2 billion cost - with the promise of rich rewards from satnav receiver licences in return.
However, the eight firms have prevaricated over the investment, fearing Galileo will fall behind as the US and Russian military upgrade their GPS and Glonass systems. So to ensure the project remains on track, the European Union will provide the funding.