They lost one! yup, that's what's happened according to Russia's RIA Novosti news agency. Apparently, a Russian military mapping satellite went missing after being lofted into orbit on Tuesday. Uncle Sam came to the rescue and found the bird flying an elliptical orbit that brought it as far as 395 miles below the altitude it should have been flying at.
Russia has most likely lost a new dual-purpose geodesic satellite after it failed to reach a designated circular orbit 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) above Earth.
The GEO-IK-2 satellite, designed to create a detailed three-dimensional map of the Earth and help the Russian military to locate the precise positions of various targets, was launched Tuesday on board a Rockot carrier rocket from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia.
The spacecraft failed to communicate with Russia's Ground Control at a designated time but was reportedly "discovered" by U.S. space monitoring services, moving along an elliptical orbit whose lowest point brought it to within 330 kilometers (205 miles) of Earth.Here's the (not so) good news:
However, sources in the Russian space industry believe it is impossible to correct the current orbit in such a way that the satellite would be able to perform all its functions properly.Hey, at least this latest satellite made it to some kind of orbit. Remember this?
The incident comes just two months after Russia lost three Glonass satellites when a Proton-M carrier rocket veered off course and sunk in the Pacific Ocean.
The December 5 launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket was supposed to conclude the forming of Russia's Glonass navigation system, a project similar to GPS in the United States.