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Ulysses Communication Anomaly

Ulysses Communication Anomaly

Early on 15 January, at the start of a routine test in preparation for the next phase of the Ulysses mission, communication with the spacecraft via the onboard X-band transmitter was lost. As a result, the Spacecraft Operations Team declared a Spacecraft Emergency in order to obtain additional ground station coverage from NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN).

The team was then able to send the commands needed to switch to the S-band transmitter, and establish stable communications, albeit at a low bit rate. Subsequently, the bit rate was increased to 1024 bps using a 70m DSN station and the data recorded onboard the spacecraft during the anomaly could be played back.

Since the spacecraft is in a very stable configuration and there are no power or thermal concerns, the Ulysses Project ended the Spacecraft Emergency status late on 16 January and Ulysses is now in "Safing Mode". Analysis of the problem with the X-band transmitter is on-going.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
16-Jun-2024 04:08 UT

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