MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. The next round of scientific research and observations, involving Russia’s Spektr-R space radio telescope that stopped responding to commands earlier this week, may take place on January 14 if the technical issue is solved, a leading Russian scientist told TASS on Sunday.
"The next round of scientific observations is scheduled to take place early next week, starting from 7:00 Moscow time on Monday. Whether it takes place or not depends on how successful is the operational session due tomorrow," said Yuri Kovalev, who heads the Radioastron scientific program that involves Spektr-R.
He said the program of scientific research involving Spektr-R has been compiled until June 2019.
Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos said on Saturday that "beginning with January 10, 2019, problems emerged in the operation of the service systems that currently make it impossible to tackle a targeted task." Specialists of the Main Operational Group of Spacecraft Control are trying to fix the problem.
According to Kovalev, Spektr-R did not respond to a command to switch on its transmitter, responsible for sending telemetry data to the Earth and receiving operational commands from the ground, during the latest communications session.
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.
According to Alexander Bloshenko, a scientific advisor to the head of Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos, the telescope’s active operations lasted 2.5 times longer than expected.