Feeds

Software glitch blamed for CryoSat loss

Rockot still ok to fly again

Security for virtualized datacentres

Officials investigating the loss of the CryoSat mission have revealed that a software glitch in the on board flight control system on the new, upper stage of the rocket was to blame.

There is no fault with the Rockot launcher itself, Russian officials said, which means it has been cleared for future flights, the BBC reports.

CryoSat launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia on 8 October, but not long into the launch a malfunction meant it had to be aborted and the rocket, along with its €123m payload went into the icy sea.

The satellite was loaded on a Rockot launcher, a modified military rocket with an additional upper stage, known as Breeze. Everything on board Rokot went as planned, but the second and third stages of the engines failed to ignite, meaning the satellite simply didn't have the necessary power behind it to reach orbit.

"We confirm from the information we have from the State Commission that there was a problem with the software flight control system in the Breeze upper stage of the launcher," European Space Agency spokesperson, Simonetta Cheli told the BBC. "This problem caused the failure of the shutdown of the engine of the second stage of the launcher."

CryoSat was designed to test the prediction that climate change is causing the ice at the poles to thin. It was to use an onboard radar altimeter to measure the thickness of sea ice at the poles, as well as land-locked ice sheets.

The team behind CryoSat is calling for the mission to be restarted, but the research councils that hold the purse strings on such things say it is too early to say whether that would be possible. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.