EU's first satellite navigation system launched

October 21, 2011 - 6:48 AM

KOUROU, French Guiana (AP) — A Russian rocket in French Guiana has launched the first two satellites of the European Union's Galileo navigation system.

Friday's launch of the Soyuz marks the maiden voyage of a Russian rocket outside the former Soviet Union.

The Galileo IOV-1 PFM and FM2 satellites are expected to be placed into orbit during a nearly four-hour mission.

The launch was postponed on Thursday after officials discovered a faulty that disconnects the rocket's fueling system on take-off.

The Galileo system will likely kick off a trans-Atlantic competition with the ubiquitous American GPS network.