July 15, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

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NASA loses contact with ICON spacecraft

A NASA space science spacecraft launched three years ago has been out of contact with controllers for nearly two weeks after suffering some kind of technical problem.

NASA announced Dec. 7 that the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft has not communicated with ground stations since Nov. 25. The spacecraft, launched in October 2019, had not experienced any major issues reported by NASA before this incident.

The loss of contract would have triggered an eight-day “command loss timer” on the spacecraft, causing it to reset its systems after eight days. NASA said that it has yet to restore contact with the spacecraft even after completing that power cycle.

The agency said engineers believe the problem is with the spacecraft’s avionics or communications subsystems, but have little information to support troubleshooting. “The team is currently unable to determine the health of the spacecraft, and the lack of a downlink signal could be indicative of a system failure,” it stated.

Read more – SpaceNews: