The recovery follows a serious communications malfunction on 8 July, when the Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite suddenly failed to downlink scientific data to its receiving stations.
Plans are in place should the communications system experience the same glitch in the future. Software patches are now being developed to allow the two onboard computers to work in unison.
Volker Liebig, Director of ESA's Earth Observation Programmes, said, "We are very glad that one of the most innovative missions of ESA is back on track. I would like to congratulate and thank the teams from ESA and especially industry."I often get questions from journalists as to whether ESA satellites are not over-designed, with their redundancies and long lifetimes. This case shows how important it is to have these margins in case of problems. Consequently, we can now deliver scientists the full scientific programme."
"With everything back in proper working order, the satellite is now being gently brought back down to its operational status and altitude. This should be achieved before the end of September."
Robert Meisner | EurekAlert!
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