Two Galileo satellites placed into the wrong orbit
Date: Wednesday, August 27 @ 10:04:26 UTC
Last week saw the launch of a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana carrying the first pair of the Full Operation Capability Galileo navigation satellites. The launch seemed to go perfectly as expected from the Soyuz workhorse and the European Space Agency's equatorial spaceport. Indeed the launch team reported a successful mission.
Unfortunately when the Galileo navigation satellites deployed and started sending signals back to the ground stations an analysis of the data provided by the launch tracking ground stations showed that the satellites were not deployed in the expected orbits. The targeted orbit was circular, inclined at 55 degrees with a semi major axis of 29,900 kilometers. The satellites are now in an elliptical orbit, with excentricity of 0.23, a semi major axis of 26,200 km and inclined at 49.8 degrees.
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