Europe's Galileo satellites launched into wrong orbit
Posted on Aug 23 2014 | IANS
Paris, Aug 23 : European satellite launch company Arianespace announced Saturday that the two satellites of Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system launched Friday from the European spaceport in French Guiana were delivered into the wrong orbit.
"Complementary observations gathered after separation of the Galileo FOC (Full operation) M1 satellites on Soyuz Flight VS09 have highlighted a discrepancy between targeted and reached orbit, " Arianespace said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the European Space Agency said teams of industries and agencies involved in the early operations of the satellites are assessing the anomaly's potential implications on the mission, Xinhua reported.
More information will be provided after a first flight data analysis to be completed Saturday, said Arianespace.
Europe's fifth and sixth satellites for its Galileo global satellite navigation system, seated atop a Soyuz rocket, lifted off from the European spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana Friday.
The launch, originally scheduled for Thursday, was postponed due to unfavourable weather conditions.
The two satellites, Doresa and Milena, were named by two schoolchildren who won an European Union-wide drawing competition.
Galileo is Europe's own global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. It is inter-operable with GPS and Glonass, or the US and Russian global satellite navigation systems.
The fully deployed Galileo system will consist of 30 satellites and their ground infrastructure. Four Galileo satellites have already been launched in pairs in October 2011 and October 2012.