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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 1

Efforts to Recover SOHO Continue

From: Scott Jordan <sjordan@sympatico.ca>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 15:36:15 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 20:23:49 -0400
Subject: Efforts to Recover SOHO Continue


Don Savage
Headquarters, Washington, DC                        June 30, 1998
(Phone:  202/358-1727)

Bill Steigerwald
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
(Phone:  301/286-5017)

Franco Bonacina
European Space Agency Headquarters, Paris, France
(Phone:  33-1-5369-7713)

RELEASE:  98-118

EFFORTS TO RECOVER SOHO SPACECRAFT CONTINUE
AS INQUIRY BOARD CO-CHAIRS NAMED

       Engineers are continuing efforts to reestablish contact
with the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Solar and Heliospheric
Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft using NASA's Deep Space Network
(DSN).  Contact with SOHO was lost on June 24 during maintenance
operations.

       A team of experts from ESA and Matra Marconi Space, prime
contractor for the SOHO spacecraft, gathered at NASA's Goddard
Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, to assist the NASA Flight
Operations Team in assessing the situation and analyzing the
spacecraft status should contact be reestablished.

       Engineers are concentrating on gaining a full understanding
of the events which led to the loss of signal, information which
might help them devise procedures which may recover contact with
SOHO.  Commands are being sent to SOHO about once per minute
through the DSN=D5s 34-meter antennas instructing the spacecraft to
activate its transmitters. 

       Based on the last telemetry data received from SOHO,
engineers said it appears most likely that the spacecraft is
slowly spinning in such a way that its solar arrays, which
generate power, either do not face the Sun at all or do not
receive adequate sunlight to generate power.  However, based on
the last data received, it appears that SOHO's solar panels may be
exposed to an increasing amount of sunlight each day as it orbits
the Sun.  If this assumption is correct, within a few weeks enough
sunlight might be hitting the solar panels to generate power to
charge its batteries. 

       The incident will be the subject of a joint ESA/NASA
inquiry board co-chaired by Prof. Massimo Trella, ESA Inspector
General, and Dr. Michael Greenfield, Deputy Associate
Administrator for the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, NASA
Headquarters, Washington, DC.  The other members of the board will
be selected from ESA and NASA as well as from the scientific
community.  The board is expected to convene later this week at
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.

       More information, images and status reports from SOHO can
be found on the Internet at:

            http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/

                          - end -


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Luis Sanchez Duarte
SOHO Science Data Coordinator
European Space Agency