GPS rival is sent into orbit

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

An experimental satellite for the much-delayed European Union rival to the American global positioning system blasted into orbit Sunday after a successful launch atop a Russian rocket, the Russian and European space agencies said.

The Giove-B satellite shot into space atop a Soyuz-FG rocket launched from the Baikonur facility in Kazakhstan.

Giove-B is the second satellite launched for the Galileo navigation system.

It will test technologies to be used in the system, including an atomic clock that the EU says will be the most accurate in space. Touted as technologically superior to GPS, Galileo is scheduled to be operational by 2013.

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