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Galileo Joint Undertaking, Chinese RS Centre to sign contract

Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU) and National Remote Sensing Centre of China (NRSCC) will sign seven contracts soon, said a GIU official.

The cooperation between China and European Union (EU) on satellite navigation is “crucially important” and expected to have a very successful future, said executive director Rainer Grohe in press release about the NRSCC officials’ meeting.

According to Zhang Guocheng, acting director of NRSCC, the seven projects in the segments of space, ground and applications will be contracted to Chinese companies and organizations by the end of July. Zhang also said the first test satellite for the programme will be launched by the end of this year, and China will send experts to attend the launching ceremony.

EU and the European Space Agency launched the Galileo Programme in March 2002 to develop a satellite-navigation system independent of the US military-monopolied GPS.

With an investment of roughly 3.5 billion euros, the programme will launch 30 navigation satellites, which will provide remote sensing data with resolution of up to one meter. The EU estimated that by 2020, the Galileo Project will bring Europe tens of billions of euros in revenue and tens of thousands of job opportunities.

According to a cooperation agreement signed by the NRSCC and the Galileo Joint Undertaking last October, China pledged to invest in research and development on space technology, ground equipment and application systems for the Galileo Programme.

As the first non-EU partner for the programme, China agreed to invest 200 million euros, including 70 million euros in the first phase of the cooperation.