DENVER — Air Force ground controllers delicately rescued a $1.7 billion military communications satellite last year that had been stranded in the wrong orbit and at risk of blowing up — all possibly because a piece of cloth had been left in a critical fuel line during manufacture.During the 14-month effort, the satellite had to battle gravity and dodge space junk while controllers improvised ways to coax it more than 21,000 miles higher to its planned orbit.
Dead Russian Satellite to Fall From Space on Purpose Next Week
Peter B. de Selding, Space News
Date: 16 March 2012 Time: 12:01 PM ET
|An artist's illustration of the Russian Express-AM4 telecommunications satellite in Earth orbit.
CREDIT: EADS Astrium
The 5,800-kilogram satellite has been stuck in a too-low orbit following the failure of the Breeze M upper stage of the Russian Proton rocket.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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