Moscow (PTI): Russia on Sunday launched the second European navigation satellite, which will be part of the projected navigation system to be operated by the European space agency.
Galileo GIOVE-B satellite was launched from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with the help of Soyuz-FG launch vehicle at 4.16 am (local time).
After the successful deployment in orbit, the controls have been passed on to the European Space Agency (ESA), which is planning to deploy its Galileo global positioning system by 2013, according to Russian TV channel ‘Vesti’.
Franco Bonacina, the ESA spokesman, was also quoted as having described the mission as successful.
A similar satellite GIOVE-A was also lunched by Russia in December 2005. The satellite has Passive Hydrogen Maser PHM or popularly known as ‘atomic clock’, for precision time display.
After its completion in 2013 with 30 satellites in orbit Galileo will become the world’s third space-based navigational system after the US’ Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and Russian GLONASS.
The European Parliament on Wednesday gave approval to the long-delayed Galileo project, which is aimed at challenging the GPS’ dominance.