We’ve had a very exciting day here in Moscow. Bud Schurmeier and I met with Konstantin Pichkhadze, head of the Lavochkin Association, which built our spacecraft, Cosmos 1. We also received additional information about the launch vehicle failure. The Makeev Rocket Design Bureau, which is in charge of the Volna, believes that the rocket’s stages never separated and it went down near Novaya Zemlya, the archipelago that separates the Barents Sea from the Kara Sea.
At the Space Research Institute, we met for the first time since the launch with the ground station crew and data analysts from the tracking station in Tarusa, 130 kilometers outside of Moscow. They are studying data that was received at the ground stations at Petropavlosk, Kamchatka, Majuro, Marshall Islands, and Panska Ves, Czech Republic. The American team working with The Planetary Society is also looking at this data. We are hopeful of having more definitive results from their analysis in the next few days.
Bud Schurmeier and I are now on our way home after an exhausting and disappointing trip. We will be posting more updates upon my return.