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December 29, 2005

Galileo satellite phones home

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British space engineers have received signals from the pioneer spacecraft for Europe’s satellite-navigation system.

Giove-A is communicating with its ground station, they say, and all systems are performing well.

The 600kg Galileo satellite was lifted into orbit on a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday.

It paves the way for a network of 30 satellites that will give Europe its own version of the US Global Positioning System (GPS).

Giove-A was built by the small British company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), a spin-off from the University of Surrey.

Engineers are operating the spacecraft from SSTL’s control room in Guildford, Surrey.

Story link: Galileo satellite phones home

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