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Russia Has Lost Control of Its Only Space Telescope

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
DP Veteran
Apr 18, 2013
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Russia Has Lost Control of Its Only Space Telescope


Russia has lost control over its Spektr-R satellite, which carries the only telescope the nation currently has deployed in space. While Spektr-R is still transmitting scientific information and orbiting normally, it stopped responding to commands from mission leads in Russia on Friday, the BBC reported. Yuri Kovalev, head of research for the Spektr-R mission, told Russian news agency TASS that the malfunction occurred when a signal from the ground failed to switch on a transmitter. It’s unclear what caused the glitch, but TASS reported on Monday that one speculative explanation could be damage from cosmic radiation in the spacecraft’s electronics system. The fact that the satellite is still sending out messages about its activities suggests that the scientific payload and operations has been unaffected by the communications malfunction. "This means that our satellite is alive, that it has power on board, the scientific equipment continues to work, and there is still a point in trying to establish contact with it," Kovalev said. Efforts to communicate with the spacecraft continued on Monday. Launched in July 2011, Spektr-R is equipped with a 10-meter-wide radio antennae designed to pick up radio emissions in the Milky Way, and beyond.

A scientific loss since Russia shared Spektr-R observations/data with the world. However, it is already beyond its expected lifespan. Its replacement, the Spektr-RG is a partnership with Germany and is scheduled for launch in March, 2019.
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