Russia Loses Satellite
We all occasionally lose things. Car keys, remote controls or even occasionally (and far worse) a game progress save. I daresay though that most of us have not lost a satellite. That is, however, exactly what Russia has done.
In a report via Sky News, Russia has confirmed that a newly launched satellite has officially been lost. Awkward!
The satellite, Meteor-M was launched on November 28th. It is estimated that the rocket had an estimated value of around $33m. Shortly after launch, however, it was clear that something wasn’t quite right. Having failed to go into its planned orbit, it appears that a very basic programming error has sent the satellite in the completely wrong direction and unfortunately for them, nothing can be done to recover it.
Maybe they should’ve done something a bit simpler. Like getting a kebab into space.
What went wrong?
In the official announcement, the Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin has said that basically, while it launched from the Vostochny spaceport, it was actually programmed with bearings to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (In Kazakhstan). In brief, a number of people forgot to do some very basic double checking here.
Now, for the cost of $33m, heads are going to roll for this. Hopefully, only figuratively. It has, however, been made public knowledge that seven executives involved in the botched launch have been issued with ‘unspecified instructions for reprimands’. Personally, I don’t like the sound of that one bit.
Now, as Elon Musk has proven with his SpaceX program, the whole business of getting things up there isn’t easy. That being said, such a basic error is, if nothing else, more than a little embarrassing.
What do you think? Should the programmers be forgiven? Are the Gulags awaiting them? – Let us know in the comments!