Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

"We have a live spacecraft..."

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

21-06-2005 21:41 CDT

Topics: mission status, Cosmos-1, solar sailing

...we think.

We got spacecraft telemetry data from Kamchatka. We feel reasonably confident that what we saw was real signal. In going back through the Majuro data, Viktor reported this afternoon that we now think we got about 10 seconds of data from that pass. And that 10 seconds of data is consistent enough with the stuff from Kamchatka that we're pretty sure that Viktor saw something that originated from Cosmos 1. Panska Ves also reportedly saw some similar kind of data, with similar kinds of paterns.

So what this means is that we are probably in orbit, but it's not the orbit that we thought it was. So now we search. It could take days to find. We hope to hear from Strat Comm again tomorrow morning.

Where could we be? Odds are, if it was a problem with the launch vehicle, the launch vehicle more likely underperformed than overperformed. That means our orbit is more likely elliptical than circular, and also lower, and therefore faster than we expect. Without knowing where the spacecraft is, it becomes harder and harder to find as we go out from the launch date. Strategic Command has not seen the spacecraft -- we don't know why.

So -- we still don't know where it is, and we're still not in contact with it, which presents a serious problem. We're doing what we can to find it. But the fact that we think we saw it at Majuro and Panska Ves earlier today, means it's alive and in orbit, and there's a much better chance than it seemed earlier today that we could find it again.

 
See other posts from June 2005

 

Or read more blog entries about: mission status, Cosmos-1, solar sailing

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

LightSail - Flight by Light

Support LightSail!

In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.

I want to help!

Featured Images

Surveyor 7 panorama

Earth, as seen by Surveyor 7
Cratered caprock within Elorza crater, Mars
Point Lake, Curiosity sol 302
More Images

Featured Video

View Larger »

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join the New Millennium Committee

Let’s invent the future together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!