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Taking Galilieo into orbit goes to ...

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Taking Galilieo into orbit goes to ...

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The concession-winner of Europe’s navigation by satellite system Galileo is being announced today. The licence to operate will be for twenty years.

It comes down to two consortiums: Eurely — made up of France’s Alcatel and Italy’s Finmeccanica, and iNavSat, composed of the Spanish-French-German European Aeronautic and Space Company EADS, and France’s Thales. The private sector operator will foot two thirds of the 2.1 billion euro deployment costs, the remaining part coming from the EU budget. The European Commission estimates the potential revenue for the concession-holder could run as high as 500 million euros per year. The system is designed for civilian applications such as communications and transport, and assisting in search and rescue operations. Galileo is supposed to be up and running, with 30 satellites, by 2008.