European connection satellite Astra-K1, which was launched on Tuesday at 02:04 am (Moscow time) from the spaceport in Baikonur, failed to get into the pre-set orbit. In the course of the satellite launching process, the second ignition of the booster sustainer engines MD-3 did not go as planned, Rosaviakosmos spokesman Konstantin Kreidenko said. As a result the satellite has not settled into the pre-set orbit with the given parameters of 35,786 km of maximum distance from the Earth and of 3,300 km of minimal distance from the Earth. The parameters had to be formed after the third ignition of the engines, but they had already failed after the second ignition.
According to Kreidenko, at the present moment TSUP (Missile Control Centre) studies the telemetric information received from the satellite in order to figure out the reasons for the engines failure.
Meanwhile, the Russian Space Force tracks the satellite and the formation of its orbit, and according to a RIA Novosti correspondent, the specialists from the Space Force still hope to correct the orbit of Astra-K1 and to reset the parameters according to the original ones. "We have saved satellites under tougher circumstances", the Space Army reported.
According to them, in the following 1.5-2 hours the specialists will find a solution as to which measures to take in order to set the satellite in the pre-set orbit, which was initially projected prior to its lift-off.