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Inquiry reveals design stage shortcoming in Galileo navigation system
by Staff Writers
Paris (XNA) Oct 11, 2014

File image.

European satellite launch company Arianespace on Wednesday said a shortcoming in the design stages was behind an anomaly that occurred during August's Soyuz mission to carry two satellites in the Galileo constellation from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

"The root cause of the anomaly on flight VS09 is a shortcoming in the system thermal analysis during stage design, and not an operator error during stage assembly," an independent inquiry commission said.

"The system thermal analyses have been reexamined in depth to identify all areas concerned by this issue," it added.

The inquiry, set up by Arianespace, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission in August, recommended a revamp of the system thermal analysis and associated corrections in the design documents.

The commission, chaired by Peter Dubock, former ESA Inspector General, called for a modification of documents in manufacturer assembly, integration and inspection procedures.

"These measures can easily and immediately be applied by (Russian aerospace company) NPO Lavochkin to the stages already produced, meaning that the Soyuz launcher could be available for its next mission from the Guiana Space Center as from December 2014," it said.

Europe's fifth and sixth satellites for its Galileo global satellite navigation system, seated atop a Soyuz rocket, lifted off from the Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on Aug. 22.

Thirty-five minutes after liftoff, an anomaly occurred during the flight of the launcher's fourth stage, Fregat, designed and produced by NPO Lavochkin, according to the commission.

"The resolution of this anomaly will enable a consolidation of the reliability of Fregat, which had experienced 45 consecutive successes until this mission," said Stephane Israel, Arianespace chairman and CEO.

Galileo is Europe's global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control. It is inter-operable with GPS and Glonass, the U.S. and Russian global satellite navigation systems.

The fully-deployed Galileo system will consist of 30 satellites and their ground infrastructure. Four Galileo satellites have already been launched in pairs in October 2011 and October 2012.


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Europe sat-nav launch glitch linked to frozen pipe
Paris (AFP) Oct 01, 2014
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