Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Japanese Astronomical Satellite Fails, Debris Reported

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 27, 2016
Filed under ,
ASTRO-H satellite (Credit: JAXA)

ASTRO-H satellite (Credit: JAXA)

It looks as if Japan may have lost an astronomical satellite after only five weeks in orbit. JAXA reported in a press release:

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) found that communication with the X-ray Astronomy Satellite “Hitomi” (ASTRO-H), launched on February 17, 2016 (JST), failed from the start of its operation originally scheduled at 16:40, Saturday March 26 (JST). Up to now, JAXA has not been able to figure out the state of health of the satellite.

While the cause of communication failure is under investigation, JAXA received short signal from the satellite, and is working for recovery.

Under this circumstance, JAXA set up emergency headquarters, headed by the President, for recovery and investigation. The headquarters held its first meeting today, and has been working for recovery and the investigation of the cause. Updates will be announced as available, at the JAXA website.

The Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) reported a breakup of the satellite via its Twitter account. The center is tracking five pieces of debris.

Leave a Reply