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Cosmic radiation possible cause of Spektr-R failure - source

January 14, 3:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On January 11, the Gazeta.ru internet portal reported problems with the Spektr-R spacecraft

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© Sergei Bobylyov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. The Spektr-R space radio telescope’s transmission device failure may have been caused by cosmic radiation accumulated in the spacecraft’s electronics during the past eight years, a source in the Russian space industry informed TASS on Monday.

"The specialists cite the influence of the radiation dosage accumulated during the flight period in the satellite’s electronic component base as a possible cause for the failure of the Spektr-R receiving and transmitting device," the agency’s source informed.

On January 11, the Gazeta.ru internet portal reported problems with the Spektr-R spacecraft, citing the Radioastron project head and corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yuri Kovalev. Nikolai Kardashev, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and director of the Astrospace Center (the Radiosastron project contractor), told TASS that the satellite’s control has malfunctioned, although the spacecraft still emits a signal.

The Spektr-R was launched in 2011 and the warranty period of its active operation expired back in 2014. Before this year, the radio telescope continued tackling targeted tasks, Roscosmos said.

Roscosmos told TASS earlier that Sunday’s attempt to regain control of the old Spektr-R satellite had failed. More attempts will be made on Monday.

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