PARIS, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Arianespace announced on Monday, in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission, the appointment of an independent inquiry commission to identify the causes of the recent launch malfunction of two satellites.
The inquiry commission was set up following the major anomaly that occurred during the Soyuz mission carrying two satellites in the Galileo constellation.
Chaired by Peter Dubock, former ESA Inspector General, the commission is mandated to establish the circumstances of the anomaly, to identify the root causes and associated aggravating factors, and make recommendations to correct the identified defect and to allow for a safe return to flight for all Soyuz launches from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), said Arianespace in a statement.
The commission, composed of eight experts, will start its work on Aug. 28, and submit its initial conclusions as early as Sept. 8, said the company.
To maintain links with the Russian partners in the Soyuz at CSG program, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, on request from the head of Arianespace, has designated Alexander Daniliuk, Deputy Director General of TsNIImash, central research Institute of Machine Building of Russian space agency, as board liaison, said the statement.
Arianespace's Chairman and CEO Stephane Israel said: "I would like to thank Peter Dubock for having accepted the chairmanship of this commission."
"We sincerely hope that the commission's recommendations will lead to a rapid resumption of missions, while ensuring the high reliability expected of our Soyuz launches from CSG," Israel said.
Galileo 5-6 satellites were carried aloft on a Soyuz rocket from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 12:27 GMT on Friday.
About 3 hours 48 minutes after liftoff, the pair of satellites were deployed from their Fregat by the dispenser's pyrotechnic separation system and should have reached a circular orbit at an altitude of 23,522 km.
However, a certain time after the separation of the satellites, the data provided by the telemetry stations operated by the ESA and the CNES showed that the satellites were not in the expected orbit.
In a previous statement, Arianespace announced that the two satellites are now in an elliptical orbit, with excentricity of 0.23, a semi major axis of 26,200 km and inclined at 49.8 degrees and that they are in a stable condition and position that entails absolutely no risk for people on the ground.