4 European navigation satellites launched from French Guiana

KOUROU, French Guiana (AP) " A rocket launched from French Guiana has placed four satellites into orbit for Europe's Galileo navigation system.

Thursday's launch now allows the European Commission to operate a limited search and rescue service as well as allowing citizens to pinpoint their location.

A total of 18 satellites have been launched for the Galileo system, which will be complete when 24 satellites are in orbit. Six other backup satellites also will be launched.

Galileo can be used in conjunction with the rival U.S.-made Global Positioning System, or GPS.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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