Astro-H still tumbles, communication attempts failed

JAXA still is not able to recover communication with their Astro-H satellite.

According to latest statement from 29 March 2016 published on official JAXA site, Astro-H is still tumbling and remains out of control of ground control centers. Two attempts of contacting with satellite were unsuccessful; first was performed by Uchinoura control station. This station was assigned during mission of Astro-H for sending commands and receiving telemetry data from Astro-H on 8 GHz X band and 2 GHz S band. Second trial was performed by Japanese control station placed in Chile - Santiago Tracking Station, again without positive result; it is worth pointing that tracking station in Santiago (SNT1) was planned only to receive only data gathered by scientific payload on S band, not to send commands for satellite. JAXA was only able to receive very short radio signals but it was not enough to determine condition of the satellite. Agency also stated that satellite broke into five pieces and one piece is still able to emit radio signal. It was confirmed after observation of the Astro-H orbit by Kamisaibara Space Guard Center (KSGC) and telescopes at the Bisei Space Guard Center (BSGC).

According to Spacenews.com and interview given by Capt. Nicholas Mercurio, a spokesman for the 14th Air Force and Joint Functional Component Command, Astro-H was not hit by space debris before accident. It means that one of possible reasons for problems with Astro-H could be internal problems in construction of the satellite. Probably without any data transmission from Astro-H with any telemetry and condition data it will be impossible to discover reasons of anomaly, unless something disturbing was spotted previously during this mission.

On picture above you can see Astro-H in JAXA facility.

Sources:
http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/astro_h/topics.html#topics7268

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