Japan Ends ALOS Recovery Effort

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on May 12 shut down the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) following three weeks of fruitless attempts to communicate with the struggling satellite after it suffered a catastrophic loss of power April 22.

The agency said it had sent a command to the satellite, also known as Daichi, to shut down its onboard transmitter and batteries at 10:50 a.m. May 12, permanently halting the 5-year-old satellite’s mission. Finding what caused the sudden power failure “is likely to take months rather than weeks,” JAXA spokesman Eijiro Namura said May 12.

Daichi’s replacement is not due to launch until 2013, Namura said.