European Union To Rescue Galileo

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It looks like Europe’s space-based navigation system will be government operated after the consortium of companies that were to build and run it effectively quit the project on Thursday. The consortium, led by Airbus parent EADS, had until May 10 to come up with a plan to get the Galileo project back on track and working toward deployment. But, according to Reuters, the consortium was plagued by infighting and nervous of the $3 billion cost so it let the deadline pass. Shortly thereafter, European Union Transport Commission head Michele Cercone said the government would take over the project. Cercone said the consortium wanted the EU to assume the debt and take all the risk out of deploying the system so it made more sense to assume the project without them. The EU hopes to have the system partially operational by early 2011 and fully operational by 2012.