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Faulty Orbit Galileo Satellites Manoeuvred Into Better Orbit

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 4 Dec 2014

At last some good news has come in from the ESA concerning the Galileo satellites that were placed into the wrong orbits in August following a failure on their Soyuz-Fregat launcher.

One of them transmitted its first navigation signal on Saturday following a complicated sequence of 11 manoeuvres to place it into a safer orbit. The new orbit is less elliptical and places it 3500km higher, greatly reducing the satellites radiation exposure.

Most importantly, it means the satellite will now overlfy the same ground location once every 20 days. Whilst a normal Galileo satellite does this every 10 days the new orbit means it can at least be synchronised with the rest of the constellation and gives hope that it can provide some useful service.

Experts from OHB and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the payload manufacturer, based in Guildford will continue to analyse performance of the satellite in its new orbit and it is hoped that the second satellite will complete the same manoeuvres to place it in a similar orbit profile.

Source: ESA

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