Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Russian Grunt Update

From the Daily Galaxy Blog:
  • The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that they will attempt to contact the stranded Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft that became stuck at a low-Earth orbit due to engine failure that followed its launch on November 9.....

One of the problems, according to the blog article is that:

  • The Russians could not decipher the information from the ESA’s Australian station

  • The telemetry showed that the radio equipment in Phobos was in operational and was exchanging information with the main flight computer and the on-board control system. Observations from Earth have indicated that the orbit of Phobos-Grunt had become more stable

Manfred Warhaut, ESA's Head of Mission Operations at the European Space Operations Center has said that "This could mean that the spacecraft's attitude, or orientation, is also now stable, which could help in regaining contact because we'd be able to predict where its two antennas are pointing,"

More on the ESA's attempt here

Image is of the purposed Phobos landing site of the Grunt probe

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