[FPSPACE] Oh sh....
ljk4 at msn.com
Tue Nov 8 20:26:38 EST 2011
>From The Planetary Report by Emily Lakdawalla:A serious problem on Phobos-GruntNov. 8, 2011 | 16:29 PST | Nov. 9 00:29 UTCWe need your help.
Please donate to support our blog, website, and podcast. Weblog ArchiveUpdated 4:53 pm and 5:09 PST. Changed text in bold, and an addendum.
It looks like something has gone wrong with Phobos-Grunt. According to amateur astronomers, the spacecraft's orbit has not changed from before to after the first of two planned burns that would have sent Phobos-Grunt from Earth orbit to an interplanetary trajectory. More worrying is the report that they are seeing two objects in that orbit instead of one. Also, on the official Phobos-Grunt website, Anton Ledkov states that they are not receiving telemetry from the spacecraft ("ЧП, нет телеметрии"). The story is developing. I'll update this post when (if?) I find out more information.
>From this site, home of a mailing list for visual satellite observers:I have just received word from the project that there seems to be a serious problem.
After the planned first burn of the engine, the spacecraft was not found in the predicted orbit. Alternative radar observations preliminarily show that there are two objects in the orbit with parameters the same as before the planned engine burn. Observers are requested to attempt to discover the spacecraft in the initial LEO parking orbit.
This is the official pre-launch estimated TLE of the LEO parking orbit:
1 55500U 11000A 11312.95486111 -.00010748 00000-0 -11606-4 0 14
2 55500 51.4279 0.6058 0106375 25.7555 298.8256 15.98414689 33
I imagine that one of the two objects seen on the radar could be the final stage of the booster. Accurate descriptions and counts of the number of objects seen, as well as position and time would be useful.
Ted Molczan More here: http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00003251/
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