The only Russian space telescope has stopped communicating

Launched on 18 July 2011 the Russian telescope “Spektr-R” conducted astrophysical research in the framework of the space project “Radioastron” has stopped communicating. He still sends data to Earth, but it will not accept commands. Experts are trying to establish two-way communication, but at the moment attempts are inconclusive. It not the first case of breakage of the telescope — after all, he had already served their guaranteed five years. Scientists hope that the device will last until the end of 2019 and not lose hope for its repair.

The reason for failure at the moment is the fault of the third backup set of the receiving / transmitting device. The Director of the Astro space center LPI RAS Nikolai Kardashev explained that neither has faced problems of this kind, and the machine may work again. Optimistic views shared by the head of the project “Radioastron” Yuri Kovalev.


The space telescope “Spektr-R” is equipped with a 10-meter mirror antenna 27 and the drop-down petals. The device operates only when it receives commands from the Ground is necessary for protection of the onboard amplifiers from burning out. Each work session begins with the fact that scientists send a signal to switch on the antenna, and then observing program. Then the satellite rotates in the direction of the observed object, and the antenna is routed to a ground station. After sending the data in real-time the telescope is again placed in the standby mode.

At the moment scientists can’t even send the command. If the machine does not resume work, scientists will be forced to complete the project. He had already prepared a replacement in April 2019 at the Lagrange point L2 of the system Sun-Earth will be displayed in the telescope “Spektr-RG”. To run will use the carrier rocket “proton-M” and the launching pad will be the Baikonur cosmodrome.

Do you think that’ll get fixed if the telescope?