ESA Retires GIOVE-A Satellite

[Satellite TODAY 07-04-12] The European Space Agency (ESA) has decided to retire its GIOVE-A satellite after confirming that its first two Galileo in-orbit validation (IOV) spacecraft were functioning nominally, the agency announced July 3.

   ESA formally ended GIOVE-A’s mission at the end of June, but said it would continue to gather radiation data and results from a GPS receiver under the care of prime contractor Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL).
   GIOVE-A, launched by a Russian Soyuz rocket in 2005, helped ESA to secure sections of RF spectrum needed for its GNSS program and flight-tested atomic clocks and other equipment in space. The agency said the spacecraft long exceeded it original purpose and design life.

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