After 22 months, NASA regains contact with sun-watching STEREO-B spacecraft!
Communications with STEREO-B were lost during a test of a system that is triggered when the spacecraft can't communicate with Earth for 72 hours.
New Delhi: NASA says it has re-established contact with the sun-watching STEREO-B spacecraft, after communications were lost in October 1, 2014.
Communications with STEREO-B were lost during a test of a system that is triggered when the spacecraft can't communicate with Earth for 72 hours, says NASA.
However, on August 21 2016, scientists behind the mission, using NASA's Deep Space Network, or DSN, which tracks and communicates with missions throughout space, recovered STEREO-B. The DSN established a lock on the STEREO-B downlink carrier at 6:27 p.m. EDT.
Thus, after more than 22 months of unanswered calls, NASA managed to get in touch with STEREO-B, which is one of two spacecraft of the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory mission.
The STEREO mission includes two spacecraft - one ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind - were launched on October 25, 2006. The two nearly identical observatories have traced the flow of energy and matter from the Sun to Earth.
STEREO has revealed the 3D structure of coronal mass ejections, violent eruptions of matter from the sun that can disrupt satellites and power grids, and help us understand why they happen.