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ESA moves to correct Artemis satellite malfunction

The European space agency (ESA) is assessing means of 'recovering the Artemis communications satellite' after it went into the wrong orbit following its launch on 12 July from French Guyana. The satellite, which is designed to herald a new generation of communications service...

The European space agency (ESA) is assessing means of 'recovering the Artemis communications satellite' after it went into the wrong orbit following its launch on 12 July from French Guyana. The satellite, which is designed to herald a new generation of communications services, 'was left stranded in a lower than expected orbit due to a malfunction in the upper stage of the Ariane 5 launcher,' according to the ESA. Controllers of the spacecraft in French Guyana have put it into a safe sun pointing position, while they work on remedying the situation, but are confident the situation can be resolved. 'Our ground controllers were ready for such an eventuality,' said the Artemis 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, he said. The Artemis satellite is the most advanced telecommunications satellite that ESA has ever developed and cost $850 million.