Lost in Space

A power failure within a military weather satellite’s command and control system left it unresponsive and unrepairable, Air Force Space Command investigators found. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 19 stopped responding to commands Feb. 11 after the power failure kept commands from reaching the command processor, even through a back-up command path, according to an AFSPC release. The satellite is still providing data, but the quality will degrade as the satellite’s pointing accuracy degrades. No action will be taken to recover the satellite, and it will be tracked as a space object. The loss has not impacted the Defense Department’s core weather sensing mission, according to the release.