Japanese Satellite Tests To Be Suspended Over Y2K Problem

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Japanese Satellite Tests To Be Suspended Over Y2K Problem

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

March 8, 1999, Web posted at: 3:20 p.m. EST (2020 GMT)

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's government-run space development agency will suspend experiments aboard two unmanned satellites by late November because of glitches related to the Y2K computer problem, officials said Monday.

Japan successfully linked a pair of satellites twice last summer, the first ever such outer space maneuver conducted via remote control from Earth.

Though the satellites will have enough power to conduct further testing, additional experiments will be temporarily halted from around December.

Yoichi Fujita, spokesman of the National Space Development Agency, said the agency has yet to address the Y2K problem as it relates to control computers on the ground, although the two orbiting satellites are free from the so-called "millennium bug."

Fujita said testing of robot arms mounted on the satellites and a third rendezvous will be among other experiments to be carried out by late November.

On November 28, 1997, Japan successfully launched the two satellites, nicknamed "Orihime" (Vega) and "Hikoboshi" (Altair).

A series of experiments under zero gravity were conducted in anticipation of the need for remote-controlled docking of supply shipments ferried by unmanned spacecraft to the space stations of the future.

Any of our satellite orbiters or PNG want to comment on this?

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-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), March 09, 1999


The "We're working on it" is conspicuously missing from this article.

-- Ashton (allaha@earthlink.net), March 09, 1999.

Does anybody know what happened to the U.S> satellite that was spinning out of control on Sunday, according to NASA. Is this connected? Certainly seems like a possibility.

-- Gilles Deleuze (deleuze@thunderhead.com), March 09, 1999.

NASA's new satellite went out of control due to an uncontrolled leak of hydrogen coolant for the telescope. The leak was caused by a cover coming off during launch and the resulting areodynamic damage. The leak can't be stopped and it's effects cannot be overridden by the satellite's control thrusters. This one's a goner, with electronics involved in the problem. Chalk up one for us EE's.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), March 09, 1999.

Ooopps, should have said "with NO electronics involved". My bad.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), March 10, 1999.

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