Russia Loses Control of Its Only Space Telescope

Mission leads are endeavoring to restore contact with the Spektr-R satellite, which conveys a 10-meter wide radio dish.

Russia has lost command over its Spektr-R satellite, which is the only country telescope that was sent into space.

While Spektr-R was working properly, transmitting data and circling in its orbit as usual, but all of sudden it quit responding to the mission leads in Russia on Friday, the BBC detailed.

Russia lost control space telescope
Image Credit: Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute

Yuri Kovalev, head of research for the Spektr-R mission, told to TASS news agency that the malfunctioning started when signals failed to switch onto the transmitter from the ground. It’s vague what caused the glitch, yet TASS gave a statement on Monday that one theoretical explanation due to this disorder could be due to surrounding cosmic radiations that settle onto the spacecraft’s electronics systems.

Communication malfunction has not affected the delivering of messages through this satellite as scientific payloads and operations of this spacecraft are still intact.

“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 proceeded on Monday to communicate to this spacecraft.

The spacecraft was launched in July 2011, Spektr-R and has 10-meter-wide radio antennae that are intended to receive radio transmissions from the Milky Way and beyond.

The Telescope was part of the RadioAstron program headquartered in Moscow and this particular satellite has empowered researchers to examine extraordinary items like quasars and dark openings found billions of lights away from Earth. Spacecraft elliptical orbits take around 300,000 kilometers than ground radio telescopes on our planet, it can help create incredibly high-resolution images.

The mission was expected to last within five years, so it has outperformed its anticipated life expectancy. While it will be a misfortune if contact with the satellite is lost for a lifetime. Russia intending to collaborate with German researchers to dispatch a successor satellite, called Spektr RG, later in 2019.

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