Kourou The two started on Friday satellites for the global European navigation system Galileo are of their launcher not in the right orbit been. Observations have shown that there is a deviation between the target orbit and reached the railway, said the launch operator Arianespace with in the early hours of Saturday. If the satellites have enough fuel on board to reach its proper orbit under its own power, was initially unclear. It went further investigation, it said.
The two satellites were launched into space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket on Friday afternoon. First, it had been called by all parties involved, the flight had gone according to plan.
The two built in Bremen satellites are actually number 5 and 6 in the planned Galileo constellation that will make Europe independent of foreign technology by 2020. Currently available only from the United States and Russia on satellite navigation systems. Both are controlled according to the European Space Agency (Esa) and the military can “on demand” – be distorted or even shut down – for example, security reasons. Motorists, emergency services and other civil users of GPS devices would then be in a fix.
Originally, the European prestige project with planned 30 satellites to be launched in 2008. Because of disputes among the partner countries but there were repeated delays. Restricted operation will now be possible from 2015. The full operational capability is planned for 2020. Overall, the system will cost tens of billions amount.