2 Europe navigation satellites in the wrong orbits

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European space officials say they’re investigating whether the inaccurate deployment of two satellites will complicate their efforts to develop a new Galileo satellite navigation system that would rival America’s GPS network.

The European Space Agency and launch company Arianespace say the satellites ended up in off-target orbits after being launched Friday from Kourou, French Guiana, aboard a Soyuz rocket.

Saturday’s agency statement did not explain whether their orbital paths could be corrected. Arianespace said the satellites settled into a lower, elliptical orbit instead of the circular one intended, and initial analyses suggested the mishap occurred during the flight phase and involved the Fregat upper stage of Soyuz.

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