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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Space News) Jun 5, 2011

Galileo Galileo, Europe's answer to the US GPS satellite navigation system, is finally set to get off the ground, with the first two operational spacecraft set for launch on 20 October from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. A second pair is set to follow early in 2012, and those four spacecraft could in principle provide a minimal service. But if all goes to plan by the end of 2012, the European Space Agency should be launching two spacecraft each quarter to have an operational constellation of 18 satellites providing navigation services from 2014 - seven years after originally envisaged. The constellation is planned to reach its full complement of 30 spacecraft, including in-orbit spares, for global coverage by 2019. The project, originally budgeted at U3.4 billion ($4.9 billion) as a public-private partnership, will have by 2013 have cost U4.96 billion - mostly drawn from taxpayer money. Keenly aware of the challenge of sustaining this level of spending, European Commission vice-president for industry and entrepreneurship Antonio Tajani nevertheless has emphasised the importance of Galileo to Europe's economy and society and has promised to work with member states, the space industry and ESA to bring down the budgeted U1.9 billion cost of the 2014-20 push to a full constellation. Jun 2, 2011

Galileo The UK Ministry of Defence's requirement for an unmanned surveillance system, dubbed Scavenger, could result in the first aircraft to carry the "platform-agnostic integration system" sensor concept. Selex Galileo is developing the system for medium-altitude, long-endurance and larger air vehicles. It will be ready for deployment from 2012 and feature "full capability" from 2014, said Selex chief executive Fabrizio Giulianini. May 31, 2011

LEGO Astronauts living on space station to build LEGO version. The International Space Station is complete, and now the astronauts living there will begin assembling a custom-designed LEGO version of it. The LEGO space station is one of 30 LEGO toy models that were transferred to the International Space Station when the shuttle Endeavour docked. Astronauts also plan to assemble a LEGO model of a space shuttle. Jun 1, 2011

NASA California senators want to open bidding for propulsion contracts. Both of California's U.S. senators have asked NASA to launch a new round of competitive bidding for propulsion contracts associated with the...

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