EU plans four more Galileo satellites in 2015

Four more satellites will be launched this year for the European Union's (EU) indigenous satellite navigation programme, Galileo, the EU has said, following the successful launch of two satellites last week.

Brussels: Four more satellites will be launched this year for the European Union's (EU) indigenous satellite navigation programme, Galileo, the EU has said, following the successful launch of two satellites last week.

The next launch of Galileo satellites was scheduled for September 2015, the European Commission (EC) stated, according to a Xinhua report on Sunday.

The EC aims to ensure initial Galileo services by 2016 and full services by 2020.

The EU's Galileo satellite navigation system now has eight satellites in orbit following the launch of the latest pair on Friday night.

Friday's launch represented the resumption of Galileo satellite flights after two satellites launched in August 2014 were delivered to a wrong orbit.

Once completed by the end of 2020, the Galileo system will consist of 30 satellites and the necessary ground infrastructure to control the satellites and enable positioning, navigation and timing services.

The Galileo system is fully financed out of the EU budget and the EU will spend seven billion euros (about $7.62 billion) on satellite navigation, according to the EC.

In 2013, the annual global market for navigation satellite products and services was valued at 175 billion euros (nearly $190.6 billion). It is expected to grow over the next years to an estimated 237 billion euros (nearly $258.1 billion) in 2020. 

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