STEREO Behind Spacecraft Experiencing Communication Problems

©NASA

STEREO Image of the the Sun

One of the two STEREO spacecraft is experiencing communication problems. [Updated]

According to this NASA status: "The STEREO Ahead spacecraft is currently operating on the first side lobe of the high gain antenna. See this important notice for more information. Communications with the STEREO Behind spacecraft were interrupted on October 1, immediately after a planned reset of the spacecraft performed as part of a test of solar conjunction operations. The cause of the anomaly is not yet known, though a sensor anomaly in the guidance and control system is suspected. Attempts to recover the spacecraft are continuing." Last Revised: Tuesday, 07-Oct-2014 10:52:36 EDT"

The last image posted on the mission website from the STEREO Behind spacecraft is from 27 September 2014 whereas the most recent image from STEREO Ahead is from 23 October.

4 pm EDT Update: NASA GSFC just provided the following statement:

"Communications with the STEREO Behind spacecraft were interrupted on October 1, 2014 immediately after a planned reset of the spacecraft performed as part of a test of solar conjunction operations. The spacecraft telemetry indicated an anomaly in the guidance and control system, but this is still being evaluated. No further communications have been successful since Oct. 1st.

The STEREO Ahead spacecraft had already successfully transitioned into solar conjunction operations, continues to operate nominally, and is providing our only views of the far side of the sun.

Attempts to reestablish communications with the STEREO Behind spacecraft are ongoing.

Launched in 2006, the STEREO spacecraft had a prime mission phase of two years and successfully completed their prime science objectives."

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