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Friday, March 16, 2018

JAXA: allegedly killed the probe Hitomi on the phone

Orbiting x-ray telescope Hitomi allegedly broken into pieces, was released last night on bond, leaving the hope of his “resurrection”, the press service of the Japanese space Agency JAXA.

Probe ASTRO-H, who received in consequence the name of Hitomi, was launched in February 2016. He had become the sixth x-ray astronomy of Japan at the Earth’s orbit, but last Saturday JAXA experts could not establish communication with the device.

As shown by images obtained by American specialists of the joint space flight center in Vanderberghe, the probe is split into five parts in the night from Friday to Saturday, March 26, and six hours after the incident the connection with device was lost.

While there are two versions of what could happen — the collision with fragments of space debris and explosion within the device itself. Re-analysis of images acquired from the U.S. air force, showed that the first version is hardly fair — in the previous turns in orbit Hitomi did not close with the other fragments of spacecraft and rockets.

According to representatives of JAXA, there is still hope for salvation of the telescope — the probe was in contact with the tracking stations in Japan and in Chile on the evening of March 28 and the morning of March 29 local time (18.30 GMT). The sessions were too short to understand the condition of Hitomi and what happened to him.

According to Jonathan McDowell (Jonathan McDowell) from the Harvard astrophysics center, the output of the device on the communication suggests that away from him, parts are not critical for its operation, and that it can be salvaged, using the thrusters to cause the probe to stop rotating around its axis.

For this purpose, as emphasizes the scientist, JAXA is required to receive telemetry data and understand what exactly happens to the probe as quickly and Hitomi rotates. According to representatives of the Agency, they continue to monitor the telescope and do not plan to renounce his salvation.

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