Europe's Latest Galileo Satellites Injected Into Wrong Orbit After Launch

©ESA

ESA Galileo launch.

An investigation is underway after yesterday's launch by Arianespace of a Soyuz rocket which left its twin payload of Europe's fifth and six Galileo GPS satellites in a lower wrong orbit.

According to a statement released by Arianespace "complementary observations gathered after separation of the Galileo FOC M1 satellites on Soyuz Flight VS09 have highlighted a discrepancy between targeted and reached orbit." This comes after the mission had been deemed a success which raises many questions including the interpretation of the telemetry being received at the time of the launch.

Preliminary details of are to be released today after an analysis of the flight data. It is unclear at this time if the satellites will be able to be boosted to their higher proper orbits and sources suggest they might be too far of course to be of much use. The focus of the investigation appears to be on the Soyuz' Fregat upper stage.

Full Arianespace Launch Coverage Including Congratulatory Speeches

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