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Europe’s GPS-type constellation Galileo down

For as yet unexplained reasons, Europe’s entire Galileo constellation of GPS-type satellites has been out-of-operation for the past four days.

The European GNSS Agency (GSA), the organization in charge of Galileo, has not published any information in regards to the root of the outage, which began four days ago, on Thursday, July 11. On that day, the GSA published an advisory on its website alerting companies and government agencies employing the Galileo system that satellite signals have degraded and they “may not be available nor meet the minimum performance levels.” The agency warned that the Galileo system “should be employed at users’ own risk.”

The GSA published a more dire warning on Saturday, July 13, when it said that Galileo was experiencing a full-service outage and that “signals are not to be used.”

I cannot imagine any technical problem on the satellites themselves that would cause them all to fail at the same time. Instead, this appears to be some form of sabotage, a variation of the recent Russian tactic of disrupting GPS in areas they consider sensitive.

It also may explain the announcement yesterday by French president Macron that France is going to create its own space command.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

6 comments

  • Dick Eagleson

    The Russian subversion of GPS in local areas is a form of jamming. This sounds more like a cyber-warfare attack, possibly involving replacement of the software loads aboard each satellite in the Galileo constellation. It’ll be interesting to see what the public explanation turns out to be.

  • Cotour

    And might an event like the recent black out in NYC’s Times Square for several hours over the weekend…………………and no one knows who, what or why it happened be associated?

    Con Edison is baffled.

    Little reminders of how vulnerable we actually are in todays world? A potentially very powerful weapon, and not one shot is fired.

  • Steve

    The reason now being given is a problem at a “Precise Timing Facility” in Italy.

  • wodun

    Could you imagine the outrage if the USA lost access to GPS? It would mean war and even the hippy dippy American hating marxists and chemtrail huffers would be for it.

  • Dick Eagleson

    The “chemtrail huffers” – nice turn of phrase by the way – might be for it. The Marxists, not so much. They’ve been looking to surrender the U.S. to some communist state for decades and are, no doubt, getting twitchy now that time seems to be running out. With the only actual Marxist tyrannies – Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea – looking notably wobbly our domestic commies may have to settle for working toward our surrender to some merely notionally Marxist state like China before long.

    Of course for those domestic Marxists whose hatred of the U.S. exceeds their actual commitment to Marxism, pretty much any authoritarian country will do as the U.S.’s future overlord. Russia and Iran likely top the list, but even Belarus or Zimbabwe would probably do in a pinch.

  • james bailey

    NBR show just highlighted 50th aniversary moon landing with interview of SNC company and owner, Fatih Ozmen. Interesting space projects but little public exposure like Musk, Bezos, and Branson. I think he is building the highly debateable moon orbiting platform for NASA? I do like his Dream-Chaser air craft idea !!
    Very interesting privately owned space company!!

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