MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - Two Galileo navigation satellites have failed to reach their intended orbit, launch firm Arianespace reported on the website.
“Complementary observations gathered after separation of the Galileo FOC M1 satellites on Soyuz Flight VS09 have highlighted a discrepancy between targeted and reached orbit.” they said on their website.
“They have been placed on a lower orbit than expected. The teams of industries and agencies involved in the early operations of the satellites are investigating the potential implications on the mission” said an official as reported by the AFP.
The satellites were launched Friday from the ESA’s Kourou space center in French Guiana reports the AFP. According to the company’s website, he satellites were launched with Russian-made VS09 Soyuz rockets and had hope to achieve a medium earth orbit of 23,522km.
The Galileo navigation satellite project is set to be a direct competitor to the US Global Positioning system and Russia’s Glonass. The $5.4 billion euro project has previously launched two pairs of satellites in October of 2011 and 2012. Two more are to be launched before the end of the year and 20 more after that, with the entire project aiming for a 2017 completion date. There are no reports yet whether this will set back the project.