Europe ready for next Galileo satnav launch


PARIS: Europe is poised for the launch on Friday of the next two satellites in its troubled multi-billion-euro Galileo satnav program. The project — a rival to America’s GPS for navigation and search-and-rescue services — will ultimately consist of a constellation of 30 orbiters, including six spares, but it has been plagued by delays, technical glitches and budget questions. Satellites nine and 10 are meant to blast off from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana at 0208 GMT Friday, which will be late Thursday local time. If everything goes according to plan, a third of the much-trumpeted system will be in place.



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