Europe gets 1st location fix from its own satnav system Galileo, a rival to GPS

BERLIN – The European Space Agency says it has received the first location fix from its own satellite navigation system.

The Galileo system is seen as Europe’s rival to the American-built Global Positioning System.

ESA says technicians at a control centre in the Dutch city of Noordwijk received a longitude, latitude and altitude reading early Tuesday from the four satellites already in orbit.

The readings were still very rough, with an accuracy of between 10 to 15 metres (33 to 49 feet).

Europe hopes to start providing an alternative to GPS and Russia’s GLONASS system by the end of 2014.

Galileo is named after 17th-century Italian scientist Galileo Galilei who was persecuted for heresy by the Catholic Church for claiming the Earth revolves around the sun.