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Envisat - ESA's efforts to re-establish contact with the satellite

19 April 2012

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Since the occurrence of the sudden Envisat anomaly on 8 April, ESA engineers have been trying to re-establish contact with the satellite. So far those attempts have been unsuccessful.

Some useful information has been retrieved thanks to the support of various means (e.g. on ground radar images, Laser Retro-Reflector observations from laser tracking stations, French Pleiades satellite images). Such information shows that the satellite is on its nominal orbit, in one piece, however in an unexpected orientation.

Investigation activities continue in parallel to the attempts to send commands to the satellite. It is however clear that the chances to recover the satellite control are slim, keeping in mind that the Envisat satellite has already doubled its expected operations lifetime.

In parallel to the satellite recovery attempts, ESA is analysing all possible means to mitigate the impact of the data gaps between the Envisat and Sentinel missions.

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