Russia loses control of its Spektr-R (Radioastron) in orbit radio telescope

by | Jan 14, 2019 | Russia, Satellites, Science, Seradata News

While it might be more than two years past its “use-by” date – i.e. its five-year minimum design life – Russia has keenly felt the loss of its in-orbit radio astronomy telescope, Spektr-R (Radioastron). The spacecraft, built by NPO Lavotchkin to detect gamma and X-ray sources in space, apparently failed on 11 January after it stopped accepting commands. The spacecraft is, however, still transmitting, including transmitting scientific data and there is still hope that the spacecraft might somehow be recovered. The Spektr-R sports a 10m diameter antenna and carries instruments for other nations.  It was launched in July 2011 into an elliptical orbit with a perigee above 338,000km. The spacecraft was due to be succeeded by the Spekr-RG mission later this year.

Artist’s illustration of Spectr-R Courtesy: Radioastron

 

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