Galileo Satellite in Orbit


Galileo is Europe’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS), providing improved positioning and timing information with significant positive implications for many European services and users. For example:

  • Galileo allows users to know their exact position with greater precision than what is offered by other available systems.
  • The products that people use every day, from the navigation device in your car to a mobile phone, benefit from the increased accuracy that Galileo provides.
  • Critical, emergency response-services benefit from Galileo.
  • Galileo’s services will make Europe’s roads and railways safer and more efficient.
  • It boosts European innovation, contributing to the creation of many new products and services, creating jobs and allowing Europe to own a greater share of the EUR 175 billion global GNSS market (Source: GSA Market Report Issue V).


Since the beginning of the project in 2000, 22 satellites have been launched and more will follow this year. When the system is fully operational, the EU will have 30 satellites in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), consisting of 24 operational satellites plus six in-orbit spares. Several control centres all over Europe and a network of sensor and uplink stations around the globe will control the satellites and perform navigation mission management.

The completion of the system is scheduled for 2020 and, by then, will guarantee good coverage even at latitudes of up to 75 degrees north, meaning even beyond the most northerly tip of Europe.

Galileo Initial Services were declared in December 2016.

For further information on Galileo please click here.


Precise localisation, timing and navigation information are relevant for many “economic” market sectors, such as transport, logistics, telecommunication and energy, as well as individuals, the public sector and academia in Europe. The market is steadily growing and is expected to be worth EUR 250 billion per year by 2022. Revenue of EUR 90 billion is expected in the first 20 years alone.

The EU set up its own satellite navigation programme (Galileo and EGNOS) to achieve technological independence. By mobilising the economic and strategic advantages of a free and 24/7-accessible system under civil control, the EU is strengthening its industries and facilitating the development of new innovative and value-added products and services.