Artist’s impression of one of the first two Full Operational Capability satellites (SAT 5-6). The pair were launched together aboard a Soyuz rocket, joining the four Galileo satellites already in orbit. The launch, on 22nd August, was from Europe’s Spaceport, French Guiana. The definition, development and in-orbit validation phases of the Galileo programme is currently underway by ESA and co-funded by ESA and the EU. – © ESA / J. Huart, 2014
Operations continue smoothly for Galileo Sat 5-6, it has been reported. Both satellites now have both sets of their solar arrays fully deployed and generating power.
The satellites are safely under control, despite having been released on a lower and elliptical orbit instead of the expected circular orbit on 22nd August.
ESA teams are investigating the possibilities of exploiting the satellites to maximum advantage, despite their non-nominal injection orbits and within the limited propulsion capabilities. Different scenarios will then be assessed before decisions are taken for a recovery mission.