The reason for the emergency launch of Galileo satellites is the Frigate booster

    On Friday night, not only the Falcon-9 missile tests ended in an off-design manner . On the same day, the Russian Soyuz-ST launch vehicle launched from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana launched two satellites of the European Galileo navigation system into non-calculated orbit .

    The cause of the accident is the abnormal operation of the Frigate-MT booster unit , developed at the Lavochkin NPO.
    The regular orbit of Galileo is circular, at an altitude of 23,222 km and with an inclination of 56 degrees, however, these two satellites were launched into an elliptical orbit with an apogee of 26,900 km, a perigee of 13,700 km and an inclination of 47 degrees. There is a theoretical probability that the devices can be brought into the target orbit using their own engines, but this is, firstly, unlikely, and secondly, even if successful, this will greatly reduce the satellite’s resource due to the impossibility of further orbit correction. Now ESA experts are trying to understand whether something can be done, but most likely this launch will be recognized as completely unsuccessful, and the devices will be lost: despite the full operability of all systems, they cannot work from the orbit on which they ended up.

    This launch became the 38th in ten years of operation of the Soyuz-2 family missiles - and the second unsuccessful (the first was in 2011, the cause of the accident was the abnormal operation of the third-stage engine).

    A source at Interfax expressed concern that, due to the accident, the European Space Agency might consider launching the next Galileo spacecraft using its own Ariane-5 rockets, rather than cheaper Unions. To date, all four operational Galileo navigation system devices have been launched by Unions.

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