Russian Rocket Blasts off With Galileo

A Russian rocket has boosted into orbit the first component of a planned network of satellites that will comprise the European Union’s global navigation system, known as Galileo. Reuters news service reports the launch took place Dec. 28. The network, which will have 30 satellites eventually, will rival the USAF’s Global Positioning System. US and European officials ended a four-year dispute in February 2004 when they agreed to terms regarding the development and use of Galileo to ensure it would not disrupt the GPS system. Galileo is scheduled for service by 2008.