Officials at the European Space Agency must have breathed a sigh of relief on Friday night, when European Union leaders approved a scaled-down budget with no cuts to the embattled Galileo satellite GPS plan.
The New York Times reported that the project will obtain funding of 6.3 billion euros (about $8.5 billion) from 2014 to 2020.
Officials from smaller countries in the EU, seeking budget austerity measures, did not focus their demands for cuts on Galileo as some leaders had expected. The program, which has already spent more than $4 billion – three times the original budget – only has launched four of the planned 30 satellites. The project is expected to increase independence from the United States’ GPS system, which is widely used in Europe, and provide far greater accuracy and more precise data.