FRENCH GUIANA: New vehicle sat-nav satellite placed in wrong orbit
After take-off last week, a malfunction developed within the upper stage of the Ariane 5 launcher, stranding Artemis "in a lower than expected orbit," said ESA.
As a result, controllers of the spacecraft in French Guyana have put the satellite into a safe sun-pointing position, while remedial work is carried out to reposition the satellite with booster engines.
Artemis has had $US850 million lavished upon it, so that it would provide sophisticated communications and global positioning navigations services, especially to transport operations.
Other key uses will entail the relaying of mobile sat-comms between moving units, such as cars and boats, in remote mountainous and island areas and also on the Atlantic.
Said project manager Gotthard Oppenhäuser: "The chemical fuel on board
the spacecraft can be used to raise its orbit and it remains under control while
the ground-staff work out the best way to use this fuel."
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