Wednesday, January 19, 2011

German satellite exec criticizes Galileo

This is interesting, from NYT:

    Galileo, the seven-year-old program aimed at building a system of 30 orbiting civilian satellites for Europe by 2014, is “a stupid idea” that will only replicate what GPS satellites already provide, Mr. Smutny is said to have told the diplomats. He added that Galileo was “a waste of E.U. taxpayers’ money championed by French interests.”

I read several years ago that there is a concern around the world about US GPS satellites, specifically that the US could take them offline for a major war. We wouldn't want our enemies using our own satellites to guide their bombs toward US targets, would we? If this is true, it's a legitimate concern, and Galileo's redundancy doesn't make the program unnecessary.

I'm a huge proponent of space technology -- by any country, any time, for almost any reason. The more all countries learn about space (using, working, living), the better off we'll all be. I have cheered every country that has recently gotten into space except one: China can fuck off.

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