MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The satellite, which had been designed to study high-energy processes in the universe by observing high-frequency x-rays, ceased communicating with Earth in late March due to problems with altitude control and the breakup of certain weak elements in its structure.
"JAXA will cease the efforts to restore ASTRO-H and will focus on the investigation of anomaly causes. We will carefully review all phases from design, manufacturing, verification, and operations to identify the causes that may have led to this anomaly including background factors," JAXA said in a statement on Thursday.
Attempts to restore communication with the satellite have not been successful despite the numerous efforts made by JAXA, according to the statement.
"JAXA expresses the deepest regret for the fact that we had to discontinue the operations of ASTRO-H and extends our most sincere apologies to everyone who has supported ASTRO-H believing in the excellent results ASTRO-H would bring, to all overseas and domestic partners including NASA," JAXA said.
ASTRO-H is a joint project between the Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries engineering company and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Its aim was to collect data on the formation of galaxies as well as on the properties of space and time around black holes. The satellite was expected to gather data for three years, maintaining orbit near the equator.