15   11   2011  

Galileo Satellite Programme

Europe is creating its very own satellite navigation system, called The Galileo Programme. The Galileo Programme Satellites will be used to know very precisely where a person or an object is on Earth. This programme will make sure that Europe is leading in the area of space-related technologies. It will also mean that satellite navigation signals will be available no matter what happens to the other system such as the American GPS system.

Knowing one's exact position or the exact position of an object like a train or a boat can be used for lots of things including directing pilots of airplanes and ships so that they do not get too close to each other, helping people drive to a new place, sending information to mobile phones networks so that they work properly, making sure electricity is delivered, helping ambulances and fire-engines find the people who need their help, etcetera. In fact, so many things today are made possible or more effective by satellite navigation signals!

The Galileo Programme is about to start launching at least 27 satellites that will form a constellation orbiting at more than 20.000 km from Earth. The first two satellites are planned to be launched in the last quarter of 2011, using a rocket to bring them into space. One of those satellites will be named after a child living in Belgium and the other one will be named after a child living in Bulgaria. The next satellites will also receive the name of a child from a member state of the European Union.

Take part in the competition and become an active supporter of this great adventure!