2011-01-17 BBC: CEO of German partner in the EU Galileo consortium loses job over cable revelations

The BBC reports that Berry Smutny, chief executive of the German partner in the EU's Galileo satellite-navigation project, has been removed by the board of OHB-System because of statements critical of the project that appear in a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks:

... Smutny [is] alleged to have told diplomats at a meeting in Berlin in October 2009 that Galileo, a flagship space programme of the EU, was a waste of taxpayers' money.

The cable, which was published by the Norwegian daily Aftenposten last Thursday, quoted the OHB-System chief as saying, "I think Galileo is a stupid idea that primarily serves French interests", and, in particular, French military interests.

Mr Smutny was further reported to say that Galileo was "doomed for failure" or would "have to undergo drastic scalebacks for survival".

Mr Smutny has denied making the statements reported in the cable.

Via Greg Mitchell at The Nation

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Space Junk (Devo - 1980)


We seem to have yet another example of 'killing the messenger' here. The Galileo satellite-navigation project has been it trouble for years. Behind the scenes the competition for contracts, redesign because of budgetary constraints and way too many hands in the pie have doomed that project from the start. Again, it's something that those of us in the general public with enough interest could dig out with not much difficulty. For me, being a space junkie, it's a piece of cake. But, as in many such cases, a tiny voice of warning or dissent is swallowed by the vast majorities lack of interest. (Geez, what's with the food analogies this morning?)

Anyway, there's a lesson to be learned (or reinforced) here besides having breakfast before making the first post of the day.


P.S. I post my opinions on everything space under the same 'nom de plume' on Keith Cowings nasawatch.com

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