Hitomi breaks contact

HitomiJapan’s Hitomi satellite, launched in February on a three-year X-ray astronomy mission, suddenly breaks contact with JAXA ground controllers when they begin power-up and checkout procedures. Only brief telemetry signals are received from Hitomi before it falls silent. JAXA initiates emergency procedures to contact Hitomi and diagnose the problem, though some telescopic observations from Earth indicate that pieces of the spacecraft have fallen away from the spacecraft itself.