NASA Geotail mission fails last data logger

(ORDO NEWS) — NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, the Japan Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are deciding the fate of the Geotail mission.

Scientists have discovered that the spacecraft’s last live data recorder has failed.

Initially, Geotail was equipped with two data loggers to collect mission science data. One of them failed in 2012 after 20 years of collecting information about the plasma environment around the Earth.

The second device continued to collect data for another 10 years, until it failed on June 28, 2022.

The JAXA team has discovered a bug and is testing to determine the cause and extent of the corruption. Ongoing attempts to recover the data logger have been unsuccessful.

Without it, scientific data obtained from American instruments can no longer be collected or transmitted downlink.

Geotail was launched on July 24, 1992 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Its main goal was to study the structure and dynamics of the Earth’s magnetosphere.

The satellite has spent the last 30 years traversing the invisible edges of the magnetosphere and collecting data on the physical processes taking place there.

Geotail has made many scientific discoveries, including those that go beyond its intended scope. For example, he discovered oxygen, silicon, sodium, and aluminum in the Moon’s atmosphere.

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