A Soyuz rocket launched on August 22 from French Guiana. It held two satellites that will be used for a new European satellite-based navigation system constructed by the European Space Agency (ESA).

This project has been dubbed "Galileo" after the famed and historic Galileo Galilei, a mathematician and astronomer who lived in the 1600s.

This new global positioning device has the potential to be incredibly accurate at locating things on Earth. A statement from the ESA said that the GPS system we currently use from the U.S. is accurate to a few meters, or yards. However, the new GPS system the ESA is constructing could potentially locate objects on Earth within less than one meter, even possibly within centimeters.

Global positioning systems make everyday life a whole lot easier, for traveling families and taxi drivers alike. The ESA's super-accurate GPS system may further add value to the GPS, and make it an even more integral part of our lives.

A very accurate GPS system could greatly help the efforts of companies like Google to create driverless cars, that know exactly where they are and where they are going. It could even be used to help blind people navigate cities. The satellite system is so powerful, it can tell what level you are on in a high-rise building.

The satellite-navigation system could also make train travel much safer, and allow for accurate time estimations of arrivals and departures as trains can tell exactly how many meters away from their destinations they are.

"Galileo promises to be much more accurate than the US-owned GPS," says Steve Smart, head of the space program at CGI. CGI is a Canadian company that has been working with the ESA on Galileo's commercial uses.

Galileo is a civil initiative, not a militaristic one, unlike other GPS systems. The project began as far back as the 1990s. The system works independently, but can also be completely integrated into existing US GPS and Russian Glonass systems.

One reason the ESA began the Galileo initiative was to have a GPS system that was completely under European control, independent of other governments. However, today it has the power to become an important bridge between existing GPS systems, and one with more accuracy and less risk of signal failure.

The system is not ready to launch yet - they still need to develop applications and equipment to ready it for consumer use - but this system has the potential to provide really amazing navigational power to everyone on Earth.

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