Technical defect may lead to delay launches Galileo satellites




The failed launch in August of two European Galileo navigation satellites may mean that a planned launch of two new satellites postponed in December. Meanwhile, the suspected cause of the launch failure outdated.

From research to the failed launch by Arianespace has become clear that a fuel line was placed was filled with liquid helium. too close to a lead in the last stage Due to the very cold froze the helium-filled with hydrazine fuel line with the result that the engines of the so-called Fregat upper stage could not do their job. This led the two Galileo satellites in orbit thousands of miles was too low. Also, the angle was found wrong.

The Russian NPO Lavochkin, the rocket stage built. The company would have applied. Failing design at a quarter of manufactured Fregat upper stages According to the rocket builder design can be fairly easily adapted.

It is still unclear whether the changes can be implemented. Timely For December, a re-launch of two Galileo satellites Soyuz Fregat rocket planned, but the EU can also decide to launch along with two other Galileo missiles. These satellites in the spring or summer These need to be brought up by an Ariane 5 rocket. The latter choice, the ESA would get more time to subjects. Satellites for additional testing

The two satellites in August have come in too low orbit seem not completely useless. Thus, the satellites can be controlled via a ground station. It assesses whether the satellites currently moving in an elliptical orbit can still be used. The two Galileo satellites, however, will get to make their job with more radiation, increasing the lifetime is shortened. Also, the signal from the built-in two clocks can be disrupted. Because the amount of fuel is limited, the satellites can only be marketed. Other jobs with difficulty


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