Canada Joins Galileo System

Image credit: ESA

The Canadian Space Agency announced today that it will be contributing to the development of Galileo, the space-based navigation system being created by the European Space Agency – similar to the US Global Positioning System. Canada will contribute $11 million which will open up the development stage of the project to accept bids from Canadian contractors. China announced a similar commitment last month. Galileo is expected to be fully operational by 2008.

Canada’s space industry will directly benefit from an Arrangement signed yesterday between the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) that ensures Canada’s participation in the Development and Validation Phase of Europe’s Galileo Program.

Galileo is a European satellite navigation and positioning system that will provide highly accurate global positioning services. The CSA’s $11 million contribution to this phase of Galileo allows Canadian companies to respond to requests for proposals and to take an active part in the program.

“By collaborating with ESA in this leading-edge international satellite navigation initiative, Canada is targeting its funding to provide new and exciting opportunities for the Canadian space industry,” said Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the CSA.

Galileo is a joint initiative of the European Commission and ESA. It will be the first satellite positioning and navigation system intended specifically for civilian purposes and it will improve the reliability and availability of navigation and positioning services worldwide. When fully deployed in 2008, Galileo will employ up to 30 satellites in medium earth orbit, and will be supported by a worldwide network of ground stations. The Development and Validation Phase will take place from 2003 to 2006.

“Galileo’s new generation of navigation services will also benefit Canadians in such areas as air and sea traffic control, ground transportation, crime prevention, urban planning, agriculture and fisheries,” said Marc Garneau, President of the CSA.

The Arrangement was signed yesterday in Paris by Raymond Chr?tien, Canada’s Ambassador to France, on behalf of the Government of Canada, and by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General.

About Canada and ESA

The European Space Agency (ESA) is composed of 15 Member States. Canada is a Cooperating Member and the only non-European country to participate directly in earth observation, telecommunications, navigation, exploration and technology development programs of ESA. Under the terms of the Canada-ESA Cooperation Agreement, CSA’s contributions to ESA programs are returned in the form of contracts to Canadian industry. The year 2004 will mark the 25th anniversary of Canada-ESA collaboration.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its Headquarters situated in Longueuil, Quebec, the CSA is responsible for the overall national program. The CSA delivers services relating to Earth and the Environment, Space Science, Human Presence in Space, Satellite Communications, Space Technology, Space Qualification Services, Space Awareness and Education. The CSA is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

Original Source: CSA News Release