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Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jul 29, 2014
Experiments on board Russia's Foton-M bio satellite will continue despite the spacecraft's failure to reach the designated orbit, the head of the spacecraft's manufacturer TsSKB-Progress said Monday.
"We are not going to start the spacecraft's thruster, and will work in the low-earth orbit. This won't affect the experiments, we are successfully carrying out 18 out of 24 scheduled [experiments]," TsSKB-Progress Director General Alexander Kirilin said.
Communication with the Foton-M satellite was lost on July 19 and restored on July 26. Since Saturday, scientists have been receiving stable telemetric data from the spacecraft.
A source in Roscosmos, Russia's Federal Space Agency, told RIA Novosti a total of 17 communications sessions have been conducted since July 28. The spacecraft operation is under the control of the Mission Control Center.
The agency earlier specified that the design and onboard control systems of the Foton-M enable self-sufficient operation.
The satellite with geckos, fruit flies, silkworm eggs, mushrooms and seeds of higher plants was launched on July 19 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The biological mission of the Foton-M satellite includes eight experiments. The experiments involving five geckos are to monitor their reproductive activity in space.
The mission is to study the effect of weightlessness on plants and insects, and to conduct experiments on the growth of semiconductor crystals.
Source: RIA Novosti
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