International Development News
Development News Edition

Russia's only space telescope RadioAstron looses contact with Earth

Russia's only space telescope RadioAstron looses contact with Earth
Roscosmos said that meant the onboard systems were working independently. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Russia has lost control of its only space radio telescope but officials are working to re-establish communication, the country's beleaguered space agency said Monday. The incident is the latest setback for Russia's debt-laden space industry, which in recent years has suffered the loss of spacecraft, satellites, and a failed manned launch.

Roscosmos said a US observatory detected signals from Russia's gigantic Spektr-R, or RadioAstron, telescope, which stopped responding to commands from Earth last Thursday. Roscosmos said that meant the onboard systems were working independently.

The Spektr-R telescope was launched into orbit in 2011 to study black holes, neutron stars and Earth's magnetic field, among other subjects. Complete with ground-based observatories and a 10-meter-long antenna, RadioAstron is one of the largest telescopes ever made. A new attempt to regain control of the telescope will take place from 1600 GMT Monday, the space agency said in a statement. Previous attempts to get in touch with the telescope were unsuccessful.

Yuri Kovalev, head of the RadioAstron project, refused to say the country had lost the spacecraft for good. "I cannot bury a satellite which is alive for sure," Kovalev told AFP in written comments. "It's like asking for a comment about a sick person when doctors are fighting for his life," said Kovalev, a physicist with the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. This year Russia is planning to launch another telescope, the Spektr-RG, whose task will be to put together a "complete map of the Universe," the space agency has said.

The Spektr-R telescope was only supposed to serve through 2014 but its lifespan has been extended. Some experts say the Spektr-R telescope was one of Russia's few successful space projects. Last October a Soyuz rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.

(With inputs from agencies.)



'No escape from telephones', this 1953 prediction actually comes true

In 1953, a telephone company chief predicted that therell be no escape from telephones in the future....

With Ayodhya verdict, CJI starts clearing high profile pending cases

Ending all the speculations, the Chief Justice of India Mr. Ranjan Gogoi who is due to retire on November 17 decided to deliver the verdict in Ayodya dispute at 10.30 am on Saturday which is not a working day for the Supreme Court. This is ...

How partnerships and collaborations could enhance teacher training

Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director, MBD Group shares her views on public private partnership and collaborations in education sector. She supports her propositions with her organisations success stories....

Fixed Test centers would facelift level of WTC in India

The venues for the test matches in India should be fixed so that World Test Championship matches remain fair....


Latest News

Bengals WR Tate carted off after scary hit

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate was taken off the field on a stretcher after he was hit in the head while making a catch against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon. Tate flashed two thumbs up from his position on the stretc...

28 million children in Nigeria to be protected through WHO measles campaign

More than 28 million children in northern Nigeria will be protected against measles and meningitis through an immunization campaign by the authorities alongside international partners, including the World Health Organization WHO.The campaig...

Magic G Carter-Williams (hip) leaves game

Orlando Magic guards Michael Carter-Williams and D.J. Augustin sustained injuries in the second quarter of Sundays game against the Washington Wizards. Carter-Williams missed both of his shots from the floor prior to exiting after straining...

Fire holds off Hong Kong police at protest campus

Hong Kong, Nov 18 AFP A large fire held off an apparent police advance on the Hong Kong campus where hundreds of pro-democracy protesters were holed up early Monday, hours after officers warned they may use live rounds if confronted by dead...

Give Feedback