Spektr-R: Russia's only space telescope "does not respond"


A rocket carrying the Spektr-R radio astronomy space observatory flies into space on July 18, 2011Image copyright
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The Spektr-R radioastronomy observatory was sent to space in July 2011

Russia's only space telescope is no longer responding to Earth's commands, officials say.

Astro Space Center chief Nikolai Kardashev said some of the Spektr-R satellite communication systems had stopped working.

But it was still broadcasting scientific data, reports the RIA Novosti news agency.

The telescope was operational far beyond the expected five-year life span, according to Russian space agency Roskosmos.

Experts have repeatedly tried and failed to repair the missing connection, Kardashev said.

Yuri Kovalev, head of research for the Spektr-R project, said the call fell on the morning of January 11, but added that "there is still hope."

Spektr-R was released into space in 2011.

A new Russian-German satellite, Spektr-RG, is scheduled to be launched this year.


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