Two Galileo Navigation Satellites launched into Wrong Orbits


Wait, what?

Yeah, you read that right. Recent launches of two Galileo satellites have gone terribly wrong. Due to unexpected reasons (well, no one could have really expected that to happen!) with a launch malfunction, two fully operational satellites were launched 2000 miles off their intented positions.


Galileo is European Space Agency’s navigation system. The coolest part of it is that they are interoperable with both the existing Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) – USA’s GPS and Russia’s GLONASS. The launched satellites were the 5th and 6th ones to go into orbit. Once completed, the constellation will have a total of 30 satellites.

Arianespace, the organization responsible for the launch released a press release stating “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; Arianespace, in association with ESA and the European Commission, will designate an independent inquiry board to determine the exact causes of this anomaly and to draw conclusions and develop corrective actions that will allow us to resume launches of Soyuz from the Guiana Space Center “

Interesting problem on the position of a Global Positioning System. Talk about irony!

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I am just another one in seven billion people on this planet, with a small significant difference though. I always ask myself "why not"! That question added with a little curiosity has led me to travel and explore lot of possibilities so far. With a Bachelor's in Geoinformatics and a Masters in Geomatics, I have made my life more towards knowing lot more about our gē!


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