Russia losses control over its only Radio Telescope: Spektr-R
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, underwent a major hitch on last Friday when its only orbiting radio telescope Spektr-R failed to respond to the commands since January 11th. While the satellite is still transmitting signals, the Russian space agency stated that the satellite could not be further operated from the ground because of which the satellite cannot be used for any future tasks.
Spektr-R is a Russian satellite with a 10m (33ft) radio telescope launched on 18 July 2011, by Zenit-3F launcher, from Baikonur Cosmodrome with the target to know the dynamics of radio sources beyond the boundaries of our galaxies.
Originally, the satellite was expected to provide its services for a lifespan of 3 years i.e. up to the year 2019, but fortunately, the radio satellite served well till January 2019. Even after serving and being active for so long beyond its actual estimated lifespan, losing control over it gave a major setback to the Russian space agency. Another reason for this, being a major hitch is that the agency recently lost one of its rockets.
Alexander Bloshenko, an official at the Roscosmos, said that they would try to regain the control and fix the glitches soon. In addition, a new Russian-German satellite, Spektr-RG, is scheduled to be launched this year. No future dates for the launch have been made official yet, but we can expect the launch of Spektr-RG at the end of this year.