NASA Loses Contact with NanoSail-D
[Satellite TODAY 12-14-10] NASA engineers have been unable to contact the NanoSail-D nanosatellite since it deployed last week from the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite (FASTSat), the agency announced Dec. 10.
FASTSat, equipped with six science and technology demonstration payloads, including NanoSail-D, launched in November from Kodiak Island, Alaska. NASA said the deployment was supposed to trigger a three-day timer before issuing an automatic command to release its ultra-thin polymer sail from the NanoSail-D.
NASA officials said they are not sure what went wrong with the small spacecraft. “At the time of ejection, spacecraft telemetry data showed a positive ejection, as reflected by confirmation of several of the planned on orbit ejection sequence events. The FASTSat spacecraft ejection system data was also indicative of an ejection event,” NASA said in a statement.