European children will name Galileo satellites constellation
Date: Mon, 09/05/2011 - 18:28
The first two satellites to be launched on 20 October will bear the names of the winning children from Belgium (Thijs) and Bulgaria (Natalia) where the competition already took place earlier this year. The European Commission has rolled out the competition in the other 25 Member States to give names to the satellites which will be launched until 2019. Children aged 9-11 can participate.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise and industry policies, said: "With satellite navigation, space exploration, and space observation, the topic of space is of ever increasing importance for citizens and for our economic future. We wish to incite the creativity of children, and for them to become enthusiastic about space and its opportunities from a young age. We reward this creativity with the unique opportunity - of offering 27 children the chance to give a satellite their name."
From 1 September to 15 November, children living in the EU and born in 2000, 2001 and 2002 - when the Galileo programme started - are invited to make a drawing related to space and aeronautics, scan it or take a digital photograph of it and upload it onto the competition's website. In each country, a national jury will select the best drawing and the winning child will have his or her name given to one of the satellites of the Galileo constellation. Satellites launches will take place regularly as of 2012 until the full constellation (which should count 30 satellites) is complete. The order in which the names of the children will be given to the satellites is determined by the alphabetical order of the member states written in the national language(s).
The competition is being announced in each Member State through press releases and press conferences, mailings to schools, teachers associations and educational portals. This should also help generate interest and give teachers material for covering the topic of space and satellite navigation in their class.
The competition can be accessed at http://www.galileocontest.eu.
The Galileo Programme is Europe's own venture into the field of satellite navigation. It is putting in place a global satellite navigation system similar to GPS. With the ever growing importance of satellite navigation applications for both businesses and citizens, Galileo will ensure the independence of Europe in this important domain, securing the availability of those applications.
Galileo is expected to deliver €90 billion to the European economy over a period of 20 years in terms of additional revenues for industry and in terms of public and social benefits, not counting the benefit of independence.
Galileo will provide three early services as of 2014/2016 based on an initial constellation of minimum 24 satellites: an initial Open Service (2014), an initial Public Regulated Service (2016) and an initial Search-and-Rescue Service (2014). Further services to follow later will include a Commercial Service combining two encrypted signals for higher data throughput rate and higher accuracy authenticated data.