Solar System Chatter

Hailing Hitomi

JAXA/Akihiro Ikeshita
JAXA/Akihiro Ikeshita
Bad news for Japan’s X-ray satellite Hitomi, which was launched on February 17. When mission commanders at JAXA tried to begin operations on Saturday, March 25, they found they could no longer communicate with the satellite. JAXA did eventually receive one brief signal on Monday, but have not otherwise been able to re-establish or determine what’s wrong with the link. The U.S. Joint Space Operations Center has reported observing five pieces of debris near Hitomi, which could mean parts have broken off the satellite.

Heather Goss is the Departments Editor at Air & Space.

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Hitomi, JAXA