Galileo, the EU satellite navigation program (the European GPS) and Copernicus, the EU Earth monitoring program, are in decisive phases this year. With the launch of six additional Galileo satellites, Europeans will soon be able to enjoy their own satellite navigation system. The first Copernicus satellite launch in March will also enable considerable progress in improving maritime security, climate change monitoring and providing support in emergency and crisis situations. The progress in both European space programs - Galileo and Copernicus - was announced by Vice President Antonio Tajani following a meeting with Jean Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the CEOs of five main companies involved: Arianespace, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space, OHB and Airbus Space and Defence. As a result of the meeting, all five companies and the ESA expressed their strong commitment to the launch of additional satellites for the two space programs in 2014, as communicated to Vice President Antonio Tajani by the Director General of the European Space Agency. This could allow initial Galileo services to be available, subject to finalising all technical issues, at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said, “I called this meeting to reinforce the dialogue between the key players in industry, the ESA and European Commission. The success of Galileo and Copernicus programs depends on the commitment and support of the space industry and the ESA. Galileo will start its first operations in 2014. Copernicus is also entering the operational phase. Space and satellite navigation, created in Europe, are inputs for our strategy to reindustrialize the EU. Most importantly, they will open up new business opportunities that Europe needs"