Simon (S2) writes to mention that Europe's second Galileo navigation satellite reached orbit this past weekend. Galileo is promising to offer several technological advances in comparison to the US-based GPS system but no longer promises to be a guaranteed service. "The Galileo programme now seems certain to go ahead, after a prolonged and painful shift from partly-private financing of the construction to public funds taken from unspent EU farm subsidies. This money would normally have been returned to donor nations, with the UK, Germany and the Netherlands as the biggest three. London MPs have expressed doubt as to whether the UK will receive value for the money it will pay, but have acknowledged that the British government doesn't actually have any choice about Galileo under EU funding rules."