Japan’s national aerospace agency on Thursday announced it will abandon efforts to retrieve a satellite worth more than $270 million that the agency lost contact with last month. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said it had lost hopes of restoring communications with the Astro-H, or Hitomi satellite, that was originally launched on February 17 to observe black holes and galaxy clusters, EFE news reported. Also Read - Amazon is set to launch its first satellite in 2022: Check details
JAXA lost contact with Hitomi, meaning “pupil of the eye” in Japanese, on March 26, just a month after its launch. The 2.7-tonne satellite, equipped with four X-ray telescopes and two gamma-ray detectors, was a joint project between JAXA, the US space agency NASA and other groups in Japan, Canada and Europe. Also Read - India puts into orbit radar imaging satellite RISAT-2B
Hitomi was designed to observe X-rays from space emitted by black holes and other space objects, according to JAXA. The mission cost Japan about 31 billion yen ($270 million), notwithstanding contributions from NASA, Canada and Europe, according to the Spaceflightnow website.