Europe has apparently been linked, so to speak, with the U.S. for some time now and has just launched its first salvo into the heavens to indicate its intention to break free.
The first satellite for the upcoming European Galileo global positioning system (CPS) was launched this week from the Russian Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

The Galileo program is the Continent’s foray into establishing an independent system from the United States, which currently controls the world’s GPS system through its military. The first satellite, GIOVE A, will, if everything goes according to plan, be eventually joined by twenty nine more by the year 2010.

Unlike the American system, the Galileo system is planned to be under civilian control.

Some details on the Galileo GPS system can be found here and here.

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