Paris, October 9, 2014: The Independent Enquiry Board formed to analyze the causes of Soyuz’s Galileo launch failure on August 22 released its enquiry findings, claiming a faulty design for deployment led the satellites off course.
The Board chaired by Peter Dubock, former inspector-general of ESA concluded the root cause of the failure was a shortcoming in the system thermal analysis done during stage design, and not an operator error during stage assembly.
The Board ruled out the hypothesis that any anomaly could have been triggered by the abnormal behaviour of the Galileo satellites. It also confirmed that the first part of the mission proceeded nominally, which means that the three-stage Soyuz launcher was not at fault.
The enquiry detected that a line of cold helium froze a crucial chemical compound in a nearby feed line resulting in launch anomaly.
Reviewing the report of the Board, Stéphane Israël, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace said, “Their work, with the support of Russian partners, enabled the rapid identification of the root cause of the anomaly and the corrective measures to be applied. Since the corrective measures are easy to deploy by NPO Lavochkin, we are looking at the resumption of Soyuz launches from the Guiana Space Center, as early as December 2014.