CONTOUR Status 18 Aug 2002: Current Operations: Radar and Radio Checks

Status Report From: Johns Hopkins University
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2002

August 18, 2002 -- 1 p.m. (EDT): The effort to locate and contact the CONTOUR spacecraft – through telescope, radar and radio checks – continues. Aided by an Aug. 16 telescope image from the Spacewatch Project showing two objects along a path close to CONTOUR’s predicted trajectory, mission operators “know where to look now,” says Dr. Robert Farquhar, CONTOUR mission director from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 19, the team plans to check if CONTOUR carries out a timed command to cycle around and transmit through its different antennas. The sequence is timed to start 96 hours after CONTOUR receives its last command – meaning it could start as early as 4:09 a.m. (EDT) or as late as 10:09 p.m. Monday – and would last several hours.

“We aren’t sure that the spacecraft is completely gone, and that’s what we’re going to be working on over the next several days,” Farquhar says.

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