Next-Generation GPS Launched in Europe

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The European Space Agency yesterday launched their first test satellite for the Galileo project, which will comprise a constellation of 30 satellites to rival the U.S. GPS system. Galileo is expected to be complete by 2010, with some services starting as soon as 2008. Its global positioning capabilities will be more accurate than the current GPS system, which is controlled by the U.S. military, and will even work indoors. Its signals should be compatible with current GPS hardware. It will have a basic signal that will be available free to everyone, and a more precise signal which will be encrypted. The system is meant for commercial, not military use, but concerns have been raised about its future applications. Yesterday, the first signals were reported to have been successfully received from the new satellite.