ESA postpones launch of Galileo nav sats as 10 atomic clocks show in-orbit failures

by Peter B. de Selding

Europe's Galileo positioning, navigation and timing program has suffered outages of nine atomic clocks and is uncertain of the cause. The problem has not resulted in a satellite failure as each satellite has four clocks, two each using passive hydrogen maser and rubidium technology developed by SpectraTime of Switzerland.  Even so, ESA and Galileo's owner, the European Commission, have agreed to delay Galileo's next launch by 3-4 months, to late 2017, to give the inquiry more time to get to the bottom of the issue.  Shown here is a Galileo satellite payload during integration. The . . .

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