Galileo satellites – status update
The fifth and sixth Galileo satellites have been in a safe state since 28 August, fully under control from ESA’s centre in Darmstadt, Germany, despite having been released on 22 August into lower and elliptical orbits instead of the expected circular orbits.
The potential of exploiting the satellites to maximum advantage, despite their unplanned injection orbits and within the limited propulsion capabilities, is being investigated.
The various ESA specialists, supported by industry and France’s CNES space agency, are analysing different scenarios that would yield maximum value for the programme and safeguard, as much as possible, the original mission objectives.
More detailed analysis, alongside consultations with industry, is under way, checking for a potential ‘improved orbit’ where they could both provide operational services.