back to article Galileo satnav fleet grows an extra pair

Europe's home-grown Galileo satnav network is two orbiting operatives closer to a full constellation following the successful launch earlier today of satellites 13 and 14. The pair blasted off atop a Soyuz rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 08:48 GMT, en route to joining their fellow Galileos at an altitude of 23,222km …

  1. Pen-y-gors

    Love the video!

    Even after all these years there is still something wonderful about the sight of a rocket blasting off into space on a pillar of fire - even better at night!

    1. Notional Semidestructor

      Re: Love the video!

      Amen! As a kid I was a proper space cadet thanks to Dan Dare, Patrick Moore and many others...

      Be so good as to enjoy this beverage with me --------------------------------------------------------------------->>

    2. Timmay

      Re: Love the video!

      Agreed, though shame most of that video is actually CGI!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Love the video!

        Not quite, just over a minute of the 2:21 is CGI ;)

    3. Robigus

      Re: Love the video!

      Me too. I couldn't care less if they were putting a chocolate hobnob in orbit, the ignition and lift off are thrilling moments.

  2. Steve 114
    Big Brother

    Warning - Galileo is designed to facilitate 'EU'-wide road pricing via compulsory satnav on ALL roads, with charges varying by time-of-day and congestion. Yes, even the lane outside your house. Not fiction, I've seen the working paper. Best vote 'Leave'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All a bit orthogonal

      - The UK is already well-committed to ideas of congestion charging and user-pays and the likes, so don't expect voting "leave" to stop that. Indeed anybody expecting the BrExited UK state to be freedom-loving and transparent probably hasn't paid enough attention to the past couple of decades

      - Satellite-based toll charging already exists, using GPS, so even if Galileo doesn't "facilitate" it (? other than better resolution what does it add to GPS?) govts can pursue it just as merrily

      - Compulsory satnav would indeed be terrifying - a nation commanded to "turn around where possible" rather than just taking whichever route they want. But I guess you mean "location tracking" rather than navigation?

      1. ad47uk

        Re: All a bit orthogonal

        It would take years for it to happen if it ever did. All the cars that are on the road would need to have some sort of GPS system put in, while some have a GPS, they don't normally have anyway of collecting that data. Also smaller cheaper cars do not have GPS at all, it would cost millions.

        You only have to look at the mess that is made of trying to have smart meters put properties.

        1. notowenwilson

          Re: All a bit orthogonal

          It would cost millions, and make it all back in a year or so.

          Step 1 will be to make it compulsory for some major arterials that most people rarely use so all the transport companies and long distance drivers are your early adopters who help with the beta test to iron out the bugs and get people used to the idea, then slowly roll it out for local arterial roads then onto city centres and finally suburban roads.

          Pitch initially it as an alternative, cheaper method for traditional tollway charging systems coupled with a bunch of bare faced lies about how it won't ever be expanded to the whole road network and a lot of people will actively welcome it.

    2. Robert Sneddon

      Paper Terrors

      I was breathlessly informed a few years back that there would be EU-wide road pricing based on GPS in place by the end of 2015 with every vehicle including kid's trikes tagged and monitored 24/7 by the Evull EU. The respondent had probably seen the same document you're hyperventilating about, a "what if" paper saying "could we do this?" like sixty-thousand other Powerpoint presentations that went nowhere.

      If the UK government wanted to do this they've got enough ANPR cameras on the main roads to implement a road-pricing scheme without requiring everyone to fit a GPS tracker on their vehicles -- it's already illegal to not have camera-readable licence plates, after all.

  3. Breen Whitman

    Gallileo is significant. As with competition it drives up features and lowers cost.

    The US GPS system had a flip switch, that, during the first gulf war, rendered the system uselessly inaccurate to the public. To the point if you were lost in rugged country it put you at gross risk.

    No surprise then, the US is preparing by undertaking to not reduce accuracy in times of conflict.

    Regardless, Gallileo with be sub metre accurate.

    The US is not at all happy about Gallileo, but havent figured out what to do about it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Haven't they?

      I thought they had said they would take the system out if it was being used against them in a combat scenario?

      Not sure a weapon exists that works out to that range though...

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      It's not just about competition. Gallileo is technically very similar to GPS (and GLONASS and BeiDou), to it's entirely feasible for one device to use all the satellites it can 'see' for navigation, regardless of which network they're part of.

      This means that if you're (eg) in a deep valley, there's more likely to be enough satellites to calculate your position, and the more satellites you're using, the more accurate the position will be.

  4. Ru'

    I like the way they make it look even more dramatic with the pre-blast off dry ice...

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