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Europe's Galileo Program In Serious Trouble 403

elrous0 writes "Various news outlets are reporting that Europe's Galileo program is facing a serious financial and technical crisis and may be permanently stalled. The European program, designed to be a superior answer to the US's GPS — and, more critically, not controlled by the US — has faced numerous hurdles since its inception. To date the Galileo program has succeeded in launching only one of its 30 planned satellites and has been beset by delays and cost overruns. Apparently, squabbling between the eight companies in the consortium behind the project is responsible for many of the problems. The project is now threatened with an EU takeover. But some doubt that even an infusion of EU capital can save the flagging program."
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Europe's Galileo Program In Serious Trouble

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  • Piggyback US (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU ( 810740 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:41PM (#19040389)
    The US GPS system is available worldwide, and with the increased amount of definition now I wonder why they want to invest so much money creating their own. Perhaps a joint US / Europe project to utilize one system, would be cost efficient.
  • Sounds Familiar (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheWoozle ( 984500 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:44PM (#19040443)
    For those of us old enough to remember, this sounds very familiar []
  • by giorgiofr ( 887762 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:57PM (#19040711)
    WOAH there don't you dare call me pro-EU ever again! *All for it*?! What are you on? Quite a few people strongly oppose this unionistic crap. All we wanted was a unified currency and easier circulation - in short, the EC + the Euro. What happened after that is definitely not our fault.
  • by JordanL ( 886154 ) <jordan,ledoux&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:03PM (#19040817) Homepage
    There would be a lot of nice things about the EU fully federalizing... for the US and for Europe.

    Particularly that countries like Germany and France would be force to give up their bullying of the rest of continent. The Euro would be a lot stronger if Germany and France didn't keep breaking the deficit rules that they force everyone else to abide by.
  • Oh, don't be dense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:11PM (#19040943)

    This is what happens when you dive into a program like this motivated by little more than spite.
    Frankly I expected better from someone with a 4 digit ID.

    Anyway, it has fuck all to do with spite and everything to do with military independence. It's geopolitics. Whether you like it or not, the EU is gradually unifying into what will become a direct competitor to the US for world resources. Where there are trade rivalries today we will have wars tomorrow, and to conduct a war against a country who controls vital information systems like GPS would be stupidest folly.

    Oh, you don't think the EU would ever go to war against the US? Just wait till the oil and water start running out.

  • Re:Obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) * <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:25PM (#19041227) Homepage Journal
    The DOD get a little cash for *every* GPS reciver sold. You can't just build these things. You need to get a "licence". Also there is a thing called selective avaliblity.

    Perhaps in the U.S. (although I've never heard of any license fees for building GPS receivers); I doubt that those license agreements would be enforceable outside the U.S. anyway, and I'm pretty certain that it wouldn't be hard to go to Taiwan or China and have a bunch of receivers made without paying. It's not like the DoD is going to degrade service for that.

    Now, if you start using your bootlegged GPS receivers to pilot cruise missiles with, and you happen to not be in good odor with the U.S. at the moment, I can see how that might get you on the Selective Availability shitlist, but even then you'd have to be pretty egregious. The U.S. has more to lose by disabling parts of the GPS system than anyone else -- there are a lot of U.S. business interests that depend on GPS in various ways, and would be pretty pissed if something happened to it.

    Even during the height of the war in Iraq, the DoD never degraded or interrupted civilian GPS service, because the U.S. had more to lose by interrupting service than the Iraqis did (due to the unavailability of military GPS receivers, a lot of soldiers were using civilian ones; more than one person has said that the modern U.S. Army runs almost as much on AA batteries as it does on diesel or food).

    Selective Availability is a "nuclear option." Most of the scenarios that would invoke its use, would probably also invoke the use of anti-satellite weapons to disable a competing navigational system. It's not something that just gets tossed around at random, because the consequences for using it on U.S. assets (both military and civilian) would be dire. You'd have planes crashing, tankers running aground, farms not being harvested -- it would be a mess. (Sure, all planes and ships are supposed to have backup navigational systems, but I'm not sure I'd trust anyone to know how to use them for normal operations anymore; things would still get FUBAR pretty fast.)
  • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:09PM (#19042035)
    No, there's not going to be open warfare between EU nations. However, I do believe we're going to see some massive social upheavals and violence because of all the Muslim immigrants in Europe. They're already rioting in France and Sweden, assassinating people in the Netherlands, murdering bus drivers in Belgium, and it's just going to get worse.
  • by Kagura ( 843695 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:35PM (#19042483)
    Maybe you have a point, maybe you don't, but unfortunately you couldn't eloquently place it, nor could you come up with any real arguments. Saying 'the US won WW2 is not true' does not make it that way in other people's minds. Rather, we need a more substantial argument.

    the US didn't even join in until it firmly noticed the war was on its doorstep.

    So, are you saying the US should have been involved in the war earlier? How much earlier? Should the US have persuaded the European states to not follow 'appeasement'? Failing that, should the US have invaded Germany without European support?
  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:51PM (#19042835)
    I really don't know why the above was marked troll. And I walk in the minefield by trying to answer even in a neutral manner. So be it.

    (Disclaimer: I am a US Citizen)

    There's a lot of resentment over the power the US has held over the heads of other nations in the world. Gunboat negotiations and all.

    US corporations spread globalism with an emphasis on profits over the benefit of humanity. The government repeatedly chooses not to reign them in because the politicians are lobbied by money instead of doing what's right for the nation.

    Unfair trade agreements, a favor of capitalism over socialism, and other inequities just helps keep people angry. We try to police the world and are bad neighbors to the world community at the same time.

    That said, (minefield time) I do agree that there's far more anti-American feelings than warranted. If Portugal (just for a random example) found itself in our position it would do the exact same thing. It's a Game Theory thing. A lot of old world countries did all sorts of horrible things within their spheres of influence. It just so happens that the rise of US power coincided with the time when one nation COULD have global reach.

    Until we get voter turnout rates that aren't pathetic compared to American Idol,
    Until we have a culture that honors education instead of 50 Cent,
    Until we can be colorblind in all racist matters,
    Until we can humble ourselves as a member of the world instead of masters of it
    We will continue to be hated.

    That's ok, I was unpopular in high school, too. ;)
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @05:58PM (#19044105)

    The simple truth is, both sides of the Atlantic have too much in common, culturally, intellectually, and even in political systemic functions, to find themselves enemies.
    Lol. Sorry, this is just naive.

    Both Europe and North America have significant water resources, so I doubt that will be the issue that divides us.
    Potable water is an energy issue. The supply of sweet water for drinking and particularly irrigation is not unlimited, then it becomes an energy issue, expending energy for desalination. And with ready and cheap sources of energy becoming more scarce...

    Hopefully, 50 years from now, we will have weaned ourselves off of oil enough that it too will not be an major problem.
    Yes... on to what? There isn't anything out there with the energy density and extraordinarily low cost. There will almost certainly be wars over the oil as it becomes more scarce. Hell, they've already started.

    That's assuming the EU doesn't simply collapse, which is what my money is on.
    It began in 1957 and is now the single largest market in the world, any country which leaves the EU will find itself locked outside that free market, enduring huge financial hardship. Not going to happen.

  • by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:34PM (#19044699) Journal

    became a bludgeoning bureaucratic monstrosity with failures like the new Airbus
    The A300, the first Airbus, was a huge success in the earlier days of the widebody market. The A310, A320, A330, A340 were all pretty successful too AFAIK. It wasn't until the A380 that we started to see major problems. Anyway, didn't Boeing have problems and delays with sagging engine cowlings on the 747 before it was first delivered?

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan