Europe’s own satellite navigation system, Galileo, has become the world’s most precise, delivering metre-level accuracy, available anywhere on Earth. It is also saving lives, relaying distress calls for search and rescue. Today there are 26 Galileo satellites in orbit 23 222 km over our heads; the first of them were launched on 21 October 2011, with nine more launches in the following years. The satellites in space are supported by a globe-spanning ground segment. The system as a whole is set to grow, with the first of 12 ‘Batch 3’ about to join the current satellites in orbit and new ‘Galileo Second Generation’ satellites in development.
Galileo has been financed by the EU and developed by ESA, with services delivered by EUSPA.