Galileo orbit problems
The 2 satellites launched on 22 August have not achieved the desired circular orbit.
The liftoff and first part of the mission had proceeded nominally, leading to release of the satellites as planned. But analysis of telemetry data by ESA and the French space agency (CNES) indicated that the satellites were not in their expected orbits.
The targeted orbit was circular, inclined at 55º with a semi major axis of 29,900 km - but the satellites are in an elliptical orbit, with excentricity of 0.23, a semi-major axis of 26,200 km and inclination of 49.8º.
Initial analysis indicates that the anomaly occurred during the flight phase involving the Fregat upper stage.
ESA and its industrial partners are determining the scope of the anomaly and its impact on the Galileo system.
The Chairman and CEO of Arianespace has commented '. . While it is too early to determine the exact causes, we would like to offer our sincere excuses to ESA and the European Commission for this orbital injection that did not meet expectations.'
Details from Arianespace below . .
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