EU launcher patriotism or prudent network management? Europe’s Galileo navigation program faces delicate choice

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — Europe’s Galileo positioning, navigation and timing satellite network has 24 operational satellites in orbit, meaning a single satellite outage raises the risk of degrading the service.

That has forced its owners to make a difficult choice between European launcher patriotism and prudent network operation.

Twenty-four spacecraft is Galileo’s nominal constellation size.

There are currently 28 Galileo satellites in medium-Earth orbit, but two are not fully functioning. Two others are in good health but are not considered operational because . . .

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