Europe Launches Two New Galileo Satellites into Wrong Orbit

Europe Launches Two New Galileo Satellites into Wrong Orbit

Europe Navigation Galileo 310x

Two new satellites for GPS-like Galileo network are in too low of an orbit.

Europe has long been working on its own version of the GPS (Global Positioning System) network. Called Galileo, the satellite network would work in similar fashion as GPS, but be under European Union control.

The project has not seen the smoothest of implementations, from budget problems to missed deadlines.

The latest snafu? Two Galileo satellites are now in an incorrect orbit, after being launched on Friday.

Satellites Doresa and Milena were launched by Arianespace, the company that handles launches for the European Space Agency (ESA), from French Guiana. After the Russian-made Soyuz capsule completed its flight tasks, monitors realized the satellites were orbiting too low.

From the official press release: "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."

Emphasis added. Arianespace is investigating the botched launch, but the preliminary conclusion is that "...an anomaly is thought to have occurred during the flight phase involving the Fregat upper stage, causing the satellites to be injected into a non-compliant orbit."

It's quite the setback, and it's not clear yet if the two satellites can be re-positioned into their correct orbits. If not, we're looking to two presumed expensive paperweights in space!

GPS, in the meantime, has been in full operation since 1993, while Russia's GLONASS has had a full constellation of satellites since 1995.

Sources: GPS Daily | Engadget

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"Russian-made Soyuz capsule" launching an EU competitor to Russia's GLONASS system... hate to be that guy, but y'know, it's already been feeling a lot more cold-wary lately than it has for a long time. *dons tinfoil hat*

Devin Connors:
...

I read that news like yesterday or day before, and that official news outlet *clearly* quoted the Russians saying it was THEIR rocket's fault. And that's logical, since the satelites didn't do anything wrong, they just get deployed by the Russians hired to do the job of getting them up there...

So your title is misleading, please change to "Russians misplace EU satelites" or sth accurate.

Hmmm...not sure if the satellites would be totally useless in those orbits. Possibly they could be reprogrammed for their new ones...now, still need to be replaced to get the right number all over the sky, but, AFAIK, there's a minimum number of satellites you need to communicate with for GPS to work, but more is better. Possibly these could help with the "more".

Not an expert, and in need of sleep, so, take with a grain of salt.

Privatize our space program, they said.
Everything works better when handed to the lowest bidder, they said.

tangoprime:
"Russian-made Soyuz capsule" launching an EU competitor to Russia's GLONASS system... hate to be that guy, but y'know, it's already been feeling a lot more cold-wary lately than it has for a long time. *dons tinfoil hat*

Oh and how do they compete? since both systems like with the US GPS are designed to work together. Russia makes way more money putting satellites into orbit than they ever will through GLONASS and making a mistake 'on purpose' would cost the Russian space program way more than delaying Galileo will ever do.

This was a simple mistake nothing more nothing less they happen space is hard.

90sgamer:
Privatize our space program, they said.
Everything works better when handed to the lowest bidder, they said.

This is a European project and has nothing to do with NASA.

wide

youji itami:

90sgamer:
Privatize our space program, they said.
Everything works better when handed to the lowest bidder, they said.

This is a European project and has nothing to do with NASA.

wide

Russia was the lowest bidder here.

Europe, we can get a probe into orbit around a passing comet but struggle with landings on Mars and orbits around Earth it seems.

youji itami:

tangoprime:
"Russian-made Soyuz capsule" launching an EU competitor to Russia's GLONASS system... hate to be that guy, but y'know, it's already been feeling a lot more cold-wary lately than it has for a long time. *dons tinfoil hat*

Oh and how do they compete? since both systems like with the US GPS are designed to work together.

I've been told it's more a self-reliance issue than anything else. Any modern countries' economy as well as military heavily relies on GPS in various ways these days. Hence it's wise to at least have some GPS technology of your own in place, rather than relying completely on another country to provide it. Otherwise you run the risk of that country pressuring you for God knows what in exchange for them continueing to share their GPS sattelites. The most extreme application of this would be that in war, the country sharing their GPS network could simply stop doing so with their opponents, thereby mayorly screwing over their opponent's army. Basically exactly the same thing as Russia likes to do with their gas export. That doesn't mean that Europe is gearing up for war or anything ofcourse. This is just the geo-political application of that saying: "High fences make for good neighbours."

So yeah. Knowing all that, tangoprime's theory isn't all that bonkers. Especially given Putin's track record and how Russia not too long ago leveraged their effective monopoly on space travel against the US to keep them out of the Ukrain conflict. (Remember? That statement about how they'd just have to get to the ISS with a trampoline then?) But then again, it's probably best not to jump to conclusions.

youji itami:

90sgamer:
Privatize our space program, they said.
Everything works better when handed to the lowest bidder, they said.

This is a European project and has nothing to do with NASA.

wide

Who has said otherwise?

Someone has never made it to the Mun, NEEDS MOAR BOOSTAHS!!! They seriously need to have these doofuses play a supervised hour of KSP before they are even permitted an interview.

*I build rocket, good, yes? Good rock, I build, yes?

#Let's see you land it on the mun.

*FOR THA MOTHA LAND!!!

*BOOM!*

"Awkward Pause"

#You even managed to off Jebediah...

*Shitty American design, yes?

Doesn't the EU have their own space program called the ESA or something? A launch pad in in French New Gunniea, nice track record for successful launches, and that sort of thing?

Obligatory Kerbal Space Program joke in five, four, three... oh, wait, there it is two posts up...!

So much for nailing the thread entry burn. -:/

EDIT: Insofar as privatizing space, give NASA's budget to Burt Rutan. We'll be mining near-Earth asteroids and setting up a lunar colony inside three years.

Ed130 The Vanguard:
Doesn't the EU have their own space program called the ESA or something? A launch pad in in French New Gunniea, nice track record for successful launches, and that sort of thing?

Yes.

Satellites Doresa and Milena were launched by Arianespace, the company that handles launches for the European Space Agency (ESA), from French Guiana.

OT: Hope they find a way to solve this, though to me it looks like they've currently just increased the number of man-made space rubble by 2.

NLS:

Ed130 The Vanguard:
Doesn't the EU have their own space program called the ESA or something? A launch pad in in French New Gunniea, nice track record for successful launches, and that sort of thing?

Yes.

Satellites Doresa and Milena were launched by Arianespace, the company that handles launches for the European Space Agency (ESA), from French Guiana.

OT: Hope they find a way to solve this, though to me it looks like they've currently just increased the number of man-made space rubble by 2.

Then why the hell were they using Zoyuz instead of one of the Ariane family of rockets?

Worst case scenario they'll just de-orbit the two sats in question, its the small crap and unpowered equipment that are the big dangers.

I guess the last time Europe had decent rocket engineers they we're building V2's for Hitler.

kuolonen:
I guess the last time Europe had decent rocket engineers they we're building V2's for Hitler.

Bare in mind it was using the Russian Soyuz capsule to get it into the correct orbit.

thaluikhain:
Hmmm...not sure if the satellites would be totally useless in those orbits. Possibly they could be reprogrammed for their new ones...now, still need to be replaced to get the right number all over the sky, but, AFAIK, there's a minimum number of satellites you need to communicate with for GPS to work, but more is better. Possibly these could help with the "more".

Not an expert, and in need of sleep, so, take with a grain of salt.

They are about 1000 km to low, but thats not the biggest problem.
Their orbits are elliptical, this means that their altitude varies.

GPS(and the others)calculates their location by measuring its distance from satellites in known orbits.
Having to compensate for big variations is probably doable but not desirable.
Also a lower orbit will make them move across the sky a bit faster. (Smaller circle)
Again,compensating probably doable but not desirable.

I fear they will have to deorbit them and write off the loss. (again)

youji itami:

tangoprime:
"Russian-made Soyuz capsule" launching an EU competitor to Russia's GLONASS system... hate to be that guy, but y'know, it's already been feeling a lot more cold-wary lately than it has for a long time. *dons tinfoil hat*

Oh and how do they compete? since both systems like with the US GPS are designed to work together. Russia makes way more money putting satellites into orbit than they ever will through GLONASS and making a mistake 'on purpose' would cost the Russian space program way more than delaying Galileo will ever do.

This was a simple mistake nothing more nothing less they happen space is hard.

Obviously, I was joking- but as another poster already addressed, the systems are "competing" not economically, but militarily. Currently the two options are GPS, a system administrated by the United States, and GLONASS, a system administrated by Russia, both originally produced and deployed for military uses. The EU wants their own. From an old fashioned east vs west Cold War perspective (which sadly has been rearing up again more and more over the last half decade) it's in Russia's best interest to deny this system from going active, and the old Cold War play book calls for industrial sabotage to achieve that goal. The target buying services from you makes it that much easier.

tangoprime:

youji itami:

tangoprime:
"Russian-made Soyuz capsule" launching an EU competitor to Russia's GLONASS system... hate to be that guy, but y'know, it's already been feeling a lot more cold-wary lately than it has for a long time. *dons tinfoil hat*

Oh and how do they compete? since both systems like with the US GPS are designed to work together. Russia makes way more money putting satellites into orbit than they ever will through GLONASS and making a mistake 'on purpose' would cost the Russian space program way more than delaying Galileo will ever do.

This was a simple mistake nothing more nothing less they happen space is hard.

Obviously, I was joking- but as another poster already addressed, the systems are "competing" not economically, but militarily. Currently the two options are GPS, a system administrated by the United States, and GLONASS, a system administrated by Russia, both originally produced and deployed for military uses. The EU wants their own. From an old fashioned east vs west Cold War perspective (which sadly has been rearing up again more and more over the last half decade) it's in Russia's best interest to deny this system from going active, and the old Cold War play book calls for industrial sabotage to achieve that goal. The target buying services from you makes it that much easier.

Galileo is non military and isn't designed for military use.

Also the only ones who have complained about it are the USA ( http://www.spacedaily.com/news/milspace-04zc.html )

 

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