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Double Star Status Report - November 2007

Double Star Status Report - November 2007

Contact was lost with the TC2 (the polar) spacecraft in early August 2007. Up to date all attempts to re-establish were unsuccessful. One should note, however, that problems were expected on the spacecraft during this summer since the slow drift of the spin axis toward the sun would increase the temperature inside the spacecraft. After the failure of the attitude computer a few weeks after launch, the spin axis could not be kept perpendicular to the ecliptic anymore. The spacecraft, after almost 3 years of operations, was well beyond its nominal life-time of 6 months.

TC-1, the second Double Star spacecraft, which carries most of the European instruments, had been operating nominally. On this spacecraft the drift of the spin axis is much slower than on TC-2. However, as predicted the perigee was decreasing dramatically and the re-entry into the atmosphere occurred on 14 October. If TC-2 is not recovered, it will be the end of the Double Star operations. Run down activities are expected after that time to prepare the science data archive. We are aiming for combine these data sets with those from Cluster in the Cluster active Archive.

Lessons learned from the Double Star project were discussed at the SWT in Shanghai, 8-12 October. This will surely be very valuable for future collaborations between ESA and China.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
30-Nov-2021 18:02 UT

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