Technology

Russia loses control of only space telescope


The incident is the latest setback for Russia's debt-laden space industry, which in recent years has suffered the loss of spacecraft, satellites, and a failed manned launch.


Roscosmos said a US observatory detected signals from Russia's gigantic Spektr-R, or RadioAstron, telescope, which stopped responding to commands from Earth last Thursday.


The Spektr-R telescope was launched into orbit in 2011 to study black holes, neutron stars and Earth's magnetic field, among other subjects.


"It's like asking for a comment about a sick person when doctors are fighting for his life," said Kovalev, a physicist with the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.


This year Russia is planning to launch another telescope, the Spektr-RG, whose task will be to put together a "complete map of the Universe," the space agency has said.


Last October a Soyuz rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an emergency landing.






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