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How does GPS work?

Did you know…
Why the first GALILEO satellite was called “GIOVE”?

The name Giove is Italian for ‘Jupiter’. In 1610 Galileo Galilei discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The eclipses of these moons could be timed extremely accurately, and also being clearly visible from earth, could serve as a shared clock across the world. Galileo’s discovery signalled a revolution in navigation, geodesy (large scale surveying allowing for the Earth’s curvature) and cartography.

‘Giove’, also an acronym for ‘Galileo In Orbit Validation Element’, consists of two satellites whose main task is to use the frequency for GALILEO to test new technologies, such as the on-board rubidium clocks.

Giove weighs 600 kilos and cost 28 million Euros. It will circle within the ‘Medium Earth Orbit' (MEO) at an altitude of 24,000km.

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