CONTOUR investigation launched

Authors


Abstract

On 27 August, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe appointed a team to investigate the apparent loss of the Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) spacecraft, which stopped communicating with the mission control operations on 15 August.

On that date, CONTOUR failed to communicate following the firing of its main engine that would take it out of its orbit around the Earth. Shortly afterwards, the mission team received telescope images from several observatories showing two objects traveling along the spacecraft's predicted path. Those objects could be CONTOUR, and part of the spacecraft that may have separated from it when the spacecraft's solid rocket motor fired.

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