Europe Reluctantly Chooses SpaceX to Launch Its GPS Satellites

Picture: Eva Marie Uzcategui (Getty Pictures)

SpaceX has reached a deal to launch 4 Galileo satellites subsequent yr in coordination with the European Area Company, in accordance with a Wall Street Journal report. Two launches on Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 rockets will add to the 28 satellites at present orbiting Earth in Europe’s international navigation system.

The deal nonetheless should attain a closing approval by the European Union’s govt department, which is more likely to occur earlier than the tip of 2025. A spokesperson for the European Fee advised the WSJ they’re “taking all mandatory steps to make sure that the Galileo constellation continues to offer excellent companies within the coming months and years.”

The Falcon 9 rockets carrying Galileo satellites will launch from america, in accordance with the European Area Company’s Director of Navigation Javier Benedicto. The European Fee just isn’t wanting to depend on a U.S. firm to ship crucial infrastructure into house, however the warfare in Russia and delays in Europe’s Ariane rocket program have left the continent with no different choices, officers say.

The European Galileo system rivals the U.S.’s World Place System, China’s Beidou, and Russia’s GLONASS. This may mark the primary first time in 15 years that Galileo satellites have been launched exterior an E.U. territory. SpaceX CEO Musk has by no means earlier than been tapped to launch European satellites containing categorised gear. The WSJ says officers within the U.S. and E.U. are in talks on an settlement to guard that categorised gear, used for European army communications.

SpaceX didn’t instantly reply to Gizmodo’s request for remark, whereas the European Fee responded with related remarks made to the WSJ.

The European Fee has not too long ago come at odds with Musk over his content material moderation at X, accusing the billionaire of permitting misinformation to flourish. Simply final week, Insider reported that Musk was contemplating pulling X from Europe altogether in response to new regulation enacted by the fee.

SpaceX’s final cooperative effort with the European Area Company was the launch of the Euclid telescope in July. The six-year mission to analyze the darkish universe only recently found its guide stars once more after a rocky begin that has been removed from clean crusing.

For extra spaceflight in your life, observe us on X (previously Twitter) and bookmark Gizmodo’s devoted Spaceflight page.

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