Russia loses contact with newly-launched satellite

February 2nd, 2011 - 6:58 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Feb 2 (IANS) The Russian Space Forces - the wing of the armed forces responsible for military space operations - has lost contact with a newly launched military satellite and is trying to track it, a spokesman said.Lt. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said the Geo-IK-2 satellite did not establish contact with the ground control centre in due time, Xinhua reported.

“We are taking all measures to track the parameters of the satellite’s orbit and trying to establish contact with it,” Zolotukhin was quoted as saying by Interfax.

A source from the space industry also said the satellite is out of the monitoring systems.

“Preliminary reports indicate that the Geo-IK-2 military satellite was placed in an unplanned orbit. Apparently the Briz-KM upper stage failed to place the satellite in the designed orbit at the altitude of 1,000 km,” the source said.

“It is most likely to be declared lost.”

Earlier Tuesday, the Space Forces announced it had successfully launched the Geo-IK-2 satellite via a Rokot light-class carrier rocket at 5 p.m. local time (GMT 1400).

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