NASA said it completely lost contact with the ICON spacecraft – operating in an area just above Earth’s ionosphere – and had to request help from the US Department of Defense to carry out checks.
According to the official announcement released by NASA on December 8, Tàu Ionospheric Connections Explorer (ICON)serving as a satellite to study the Earth’s ionosphere, lost contact and efforts to reestablish connection also failed.
The first time ICON lost connection was on November 25th. This ship is equipped with a “timer lost command”helping it to automatically restart the entire system after 8 days of connection loss, restoring normal operation.
ICON spacecraft – (Photo: NASA)
However, as of December 5, NASA still has not received any signal from this spacecraft, even though the deadline for the above process has passed.
This agency had to rely on the US Department of Defense’s space surveillance network to trace and preliminarily assess the condition of ICON, and determined that it is still intact.
Theo Space news, NASA confirmed it had ruled out the cause of the collision’s damage to the ship, but declined the possibility of a spacecraft system failure. This agency is still working to try to find and correct possible errors in order to reconnect with the ship.
The $252 million ICON spacecraft completed its two-year primary mission in late 2021 and is in the midst of an extended mission. NASA also has new plans for this spacecraft in 2023 because before this loss of connection, the craft had virtually no problems during the mission.
ICON is responsible for studying above and inside the ionosphere, which is the atmospheric layer containing free charged particles at the top of the atmosphere. It operates just above this level, at altitudes ranging from 88 km to 580 km above ground, and is operated by the Space Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.
Article source: NLD
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NASA said it had completely lost contact with the ICON spacecraft – operating in an area just above Earth’s ionosphere – and had to ask the US Department of Defense…