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Bill Radke: In Europe today, more than a billion dollars in contracts are being awarded to companies starting work on a satellite navigation system known as Galileo. Marketplace’s Stephen Beard says the system is designed to challenge the dominance of GPS.
Stephen Beard: The Commission awarded the contracts to German, French, Italian and British companies. They’ve been asked to build 14 satellites and launch five Russian-made Soyuz rockets.
The Europeans want Galileo so they have their own satellite-navigation system free from American control. They also believe that Galileo will be more accurate than GPS.
But the system will be costly — $7 billion at least. European taxpayers will foot the entire bill after European companies failed to back the project.
Science writer Barry Fox is not a Galileo fan:
Barry Fox: If independent commercial companies don’t want to fund Galileo, that probably tells you all you need to know about the commercial viability of Galileo.
Galileo is expected to be up and running within five years.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
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