back to article JAXA confirms ASTRO-H breakup

Japan's space agency JAXA has confirmed the loss of the ASTRO-H X-Ray satellite. Originally believed to have been a successful launch, things turned sour for the satellite when the space agency was unable to raise communications with ASTRO-H at the end of March. As late as last week, space-watchers still hoped it might be …

  1. a_yank_lurker

    Orwell would be happy

    "JAXA believes an anomaly on board the satellite" - what is an anomaly? Hardware failure, sensor failure, programming error? Other failure? Design flaw? Or does it mean they do not have the foggiest idea what happened and are resorting to buzzword bingo to cover up their ignorance.

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Orwell would be happy

      I think it means your last possibility.. no clue. Hardware definitely since it's in pieces... It's the "why" that's the hard part.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Orwell would be happy

      They use the term anomaly because clearly it's too early to say what caused the breakup. Not sure why you'd think it's a cover-up?

      Very strange post.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Orwell would be happy

        @AC Didn't know whether to UV or DV you.

        "Cover up" has multiple meanings depending on scale and context. "cover up" meaning attempting to deflect attention from their lack of understanding due to lack of information does not amount to a concerted "cover up".

        There is a difference.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ gerdesj

          The bottom line is that the OP's post was accusatory and unnecessarily so, in my opinion.

    3. Captain DaFt

      Re: Orwell would be happy

      Nah, 'anomaly' just means 'something unexpected happened'.

      If you wanted the Orwellian double-speak, 'Unscheduled rapid disassembly event' is the popular one these days.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Orwell would be happy

      "Anomaly" in this case means they were getting odd and not expected telemetry. Since this occurred just prior to the breakup, the anomaly more or less rules out a sudden debris strike, and is probably related to the breakup itself. If It were a debris strike, the chance of odd telemetry just prior is very low.

      However, it is possible that a tiny strike could have harmed something in such a way as to cause the strange data and then also cause the breakup shortly afterwards, but that's also a low-probability event.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Orwell would be happy

      I think the point of saying "JAXA believes an anomaly on board the satellite" is that it was not likely caused by an external factor, such as collision with debris. Rather than trying to avoid or hide from responsibility they seem to me to be accepting that the problem was in their craft even though they don't yet know the exact cause.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Darn shame

  3. x 7

    you can see from the picture at the head of the article that it was bound to fail:

    1) those thing wings won't work in space

    2) the propeller is missing from the nose

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      3) The wings are far too small

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        4) No windows for the little man inside operating the equipment to look out.

  4. Mage Silver badge

    That's three now

    That's the third failed X-Ray sensor "telescope" Japanese Launch.

    Maybe the 5th one will survive.

    1. Jemma

      Units 1 through 4 were unsuccessful...

      If they mention hiring a Dr Richard Daystrom it's probably time to run..

    2. Mark 85

      Re: That's three now

      Hmm... maybe someone doesn't really want an X-Ray telescope out there because they don't want to be found?

  5. Ben Holmes

    The solution is obvious...

    ...needs more struts. In this scenario, it's probably best to revert the launch to the Vehicle Assembly Building and try again.

    1. A K Stiles

      Re: The solution is obvious...

      "It was all going so well, and then it exploded..."

  6. imanidiot Silver badge

    And another debris cloud

    One step closer to kessler syndrome

  7. ma1010

    The explanation is obvous

    Icon says it all.

    Excuse me, while I put on my tinfoil hat.

    1. x 7

      Re: The explanation is obvous

      "Icon says it all.

      Excuse me, while I put on my tinfoil hat."

      that icon looks nothing like a North Korean

  8. ecofeco Silver badge

    Better luck next time

    Sincere better luck next time.

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