Update on Galileo launch injection anomaly
Operations continue smoothly for Galileo Sat 5-6. Both satellites now have both sets of their solar arrays fully deployed and generating power.
The satellites are safely under control, despite having been released on a lower and elliptical orbit instead of the expected circular orbit on 22 August.
The European ground teams deployed at ESA’s control centre ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany, in cooperation with satellite manufacturer OHB, confirm that both satellites are in a safe state, correctly pointing to the sun, properly powered and fully under control of the ESA-CNES integrated team.
Controllers are ready to proceed to the next stage of the launch and early operations phase activities.
In parallel ESA teams are investigating the possibilities of exploiting the satellites to maximum advantage, despite their non-nominal injection orbits and within the limited propulsion capabilities. Different scenarios will then be assessed before decisions are taken for a recovery mission.
Galileo is Europe's own global satellite navigation system. It will consist of 30 satellites and their ground infrastructure.
The definition, development and In-Orbit Validation (IOV) phase of the Galileo programme were carried out by ESA and co-funded by ESA and the European Commission. This phase created a mini-constellation of four satellites and a reduced ground segment dedicated to validating the overall concept.The four satellites launched during IOV are the nucleus of the constellation that will then be extended to reach the Full Operational Capability (FOC).
The Full Operational Capability (FOC) phase is fully funded by the European Commission. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.