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Problem of Russian satellite caused by its fast spinning — developer

May 04, 18:03 UTC+3 SAMARA
The Russian satellite that was placed into orbit during the first launch from Russia’s new spaceport has failed to establish radio contact with the mission control
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© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

SAMARA, May 4. /TASS/. The problem with establishing a radio contact with the SamSat-218D nanosatellite is caused by its fast spinning, TASS the Samara State Aerospace University that designed the spacecraft told TASS on Wednesday.

"When the spacecraft was placed into orbit, it started to spin round too quickly. It has a very little mass - less than two kilograms. As a result, its antenna cannot catch the information, the satellite is rotating rapidly," the source said.

The university press service said that the satellites has nevertheless been transmitting a fragmentary signal to the Earth. "The nanosatellite is equipped with a radio beacon that transmits in the Morse code the word SamSat-2018. At present, fragmentary Morse code signals are coming from the satellite against the background of noise when the satellite flies over the receiving station. The developers are currently analyzing the coming data in order to understand the nature of the problem and determine ways to solve it," the Samara State Aerospace University said in an official comment.

A source in the Russian rocket and space industry told TASS earlier that problems emerged with the SamSat-218 satellite, launched during the first unmanned blastoff from Russia’s new Vostochny spaceport on April 28.

This was a maiden launch for Russia’s new spaceport. The rocket was launched at second attempt. The blastoff initially scheduled for the morning of April 27 was delayed by the automatic system due to a malfunction of a cable.

The SamSat-218 satellite (former name - Contact-Nanosatellite) is the first-ever nanosatellite designed by university students. It was created at the Samara State Aerospace University for testing the algorithms of controlling such miniature devices. The mass of SamSat-218 is just 1.4 kilograms. The spacecraft was placed into orbit during the first launch from the Vostochny cosmodrome on April 28. Along with SamSat-218, the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket orbited the Aist-2D and Mikhailo Lomonosov satellites.

The Vostochny spaceport is being built near the town of Uglegorsk in the Amur region, Russia’s Far East. Construction work began in 2010. Vostochny has become the first national civilian cosmodrome that will ensure Russia’s full access to space.

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