SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Galileo navigation satellite being prepared for launch. This is GIOVE-A, the first test satellite for the European Galileo satellite navigation system. It was previously known as GSTB-V2/A. It was constructed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, whose label is seen on the folded solar panels (upper centre). It was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on 28 December 2005. On 12 January 2006, it began transmitting its signals from orbit 23,000 kilometres above the Earth. Galileo is a civilian global positioning system (GPS). A total of 30 satellites will be launched, and the full network is scheduled to operate from 2008. Photographed on 21 December 2005 at Baikonur Cosmodrome.
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