50 years ago, Americans entered the moon. Europe commits this great moment of space travel in its own way – with a flop. In mid-July, the European navigation system Galileo, which is currently still under test, was canceled, a rival system to the American GPS.

For a week, the navigation sat around the earth uselessly, for days blocked the operator GSA demands. The reason for the failure was a “technical incident in connection with the ground infrastructure”, it was initially meaningless. Since Thursday, the operation was halfway again, but for now with the warning: “Potential Instability”.

The author goes on to point out that Europe having its own navigation system independent of other nations was and is a good idea. Unfortunately, as with other big projects, costs for Galileo have gotten way out of control to more the 10B euros. While it was supposed to be done in 2008, it will still be in trial operation in 2020. 

Satnav signals are vulnerable and are regularly blocked or falsified by inexpensive devices. 

There is a proven back-up system – radio navigation “Loran” that has been working reliably since WWII. It is less accurate, but it is very inexpensive and almost indestructible. “But everywhere, the “Loran” stations are mothballed, after all, we have our chic new satellite navigation.”

 

Brad P

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