The US has been upset ever since the first Galileo announcements some years ago, but the moves to make sure it happens in a US controlled way took a worrying turn recently.
The Americans have come out with all sorts of nonsense in the last few months. Every excuse you can imagine has been peddled out to hamper the Euro GPS consortium.
Initially there were concerns that the new constellation would interfere with the existing US DOD run system. Next were claims that terrorist elements would use the system against the US (A silly claim given that this is true of any Positioning System).
Now, in order to move forwards, it looks like the Euro consortium may be ready to cave in and let the US Military cripple the system as and when the need arises.
In practical terms this probably means that the frequencies will be available to allow the DOD to jam the satellites or worse that a form of Selctive Availability would be introduced (probably on a geographic basis this time around).
Dunno what you think, but TurboTas can’t help thinking that these tactics will put the Euro program out of kilter just long enough for the upgrades planned for the DOD GPS constellation to be delivering improved accuracy, at which time the Americans will try to Six the Euro effort permanently.
It doesn’t really need saying that the Balance Of Power in Space has already changed considerably in the last twelve months: Since the grounding of the US Shuttles, the Space Station programme is completely reliant on other countries to get supplies up to the station.
Even now, after the official findings into the tradgedy have been published, it’s uncertain when the Shuttle fleet will return to active service. Until they do it seems strange that a non space-capable nation are calling the shots!