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Impact suspected for loss of Russian satellite


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A Russian communications satellite appears to have been struck by "a sudden external impact". Its operators say the extent of the damage caused means the satellite will be sent into "space disposal orbit".

The Russian Satellite Communications Company's (RSCC) Express-AM11 satellite ran into its trouble at 0341 Moscow time (0041 GMT) on 29 March. Telemetry from the craft indicates that the fluid circuit that is part of the satellite's thermal control system depressurised very rapidly. Such damage leaves the spacecraft unable to prevent fluctuations in temperature that can cause electronics to fail.


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