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Jul 28 2015

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Uh…OK, I guess

Air Force Weather Satellite’s Breakup Blamed on Wiring Harness Compression in Battery Charge Assembly.

A U.S. Air Force review into the Feb. 3 loss of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Flight 13 determined a failure of the spacecraft’s battery charger as the likely cause of the satellite’s failure and structural breakup.

Analysis indicates one of the satellite’s wiring harnesses in the battery charge assembly lost functionality due to compression over a long period of time. Once the harness was compromised, exposed wires potentially caused a short in the battery power, leading to an overcharge situation with eventual rupture of the satellite’s two batteries.

Alrighty then. It was launched in 1996 and only had a design life of 4 years, so there’s that, I guess. It broke into 147 trackable pieces, so there’s that, too.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/07/28/uh-ok-i-guess/

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