Russian Rocket Launches European Navigation Satellites Into Wrong Orbit
The launch service provider Arianespace confirmed late Friday (Aug. 22) that two satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation network were released into the wrong orbit after launching aboard a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana. Arianespace and European Space Agency officials initially heralded Friday morning’s launch as a success, declaring the satellites healthy and claiming they were deployed into their targeted orbit approximately 23,500 kilometers, or 14,600 miles, above Earth. The Fregat was programmed to fire two times to propel the Galileo satellites into a circular medium Earth orbit tilted at an angle of 55 degrees to the equator.
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