Giove-A is set for European launch

Dec. 27, 2005 at 1:59 PM
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PARIS, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Giove-A is set to be launched into orbit by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to test key components in the Galileo network.

The demonstrator, built in by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., in Britain will test segments in the Galileo network, notably its atomic clocks, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Giove-A, scheduled to launch Wednesday, will transmit a sat-nav signal of the correct structure from orbit within the next six months, but perhaps a good deal sooner, according to officials at the European Space Agency.

The Galileo project is the biggest space project undertaken in Europe and will eventually comprise 30 satellites. It has a huge potential for Internet-linked services run off cell phones and global positioning systems.

The Giove-A mission will test two onboard rubidium atomic clocks, which are the heart of any global positioning system.

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