Sunday, April 24, 2011

Japanese Earth observing satellite feared lost

BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: April 22, 2011

Japan’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite, one of the world’s foremost remote sensing platforms, inexplicably lost power Friday, likely ending its mission mapping Earth and monitoring natural disasters, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The spacecraft switched to a low-power mode around 7:30 a.m. Japan time Friday (2230 GMT Thursday), where the satellite’s three observation instruments shut down to conserve electricity.

Telemetry indicated ALOS lost all power later Friday, according to JAXA.

“Since then, the power generation has been rapidly deteriorating, and we currently cannot confirm power generation,” a JAXA press release said.

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