Bremen, 28 August, 2014. After both launching the first two Galileo-FOC*-satellites on Friday, August 22nd, and releasing the satellites from the upper stage of the launcher, it was found that the satellites had been injected into a wrong orbit. Investigations are on-going by an independent inquiry board.
Controllers at ESA’s ESOC control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, confirm the good health and the nominal behaviour of both satellites. They are in a safe configuration, are thermally stable, have stable pointing to the sun and sufficient power production. All platform subsystems have been checked and they work properly. Also the procedures to deploy the solar arrays are successfully performed and all solar arrays are properly unfolded.
The satellites are the property of the European Union. The transfer of the ownership has taken place in Kourou, French Guiana, several days before launching. The launch service contracts have been closed between Arianespace and ESA on behalf of the EU, OHB is not a contractual partner.
We are supporting the on-going investigations and the teams analysing the possibilities to exploit the satellites to their ideal use.
The orbit anomaly has no impact on the production and delivery of the in total further 20 satellites. Two FOC*-satellites are currently at ESTEC test facilities in Noordwijk, the remaining are in various status of integration.
*The FOC (full operational capability) phase of the Galileo program is being funded by the European Union. The European Commission and the European Space Agency ESA have signed a delegation agreement under which ESA acts as the design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission. The view expressed here does not necessary reflect the official position of the European Union and/or ESA. “Galileo” is a registered trademark owned by the EU and ESA and registered under OHIM application number 002742237.