NASA appears to have lost contact with the Deep Impact space probe. Launched in 2005, the unmanned spacecraft has had a long career making flybys of various comets, but NASA says that mission control lost communications with the probe on August 8 and has been unable to restore the link.
NASA believes that the problem with Deep Impact is a software error causing its computers to continuously reboot. Space agency engineers are trying to revive the craft, but if they are unable to do so soon, there is a real danger of Deep Impact being lost for good.
Without the computers, the probe cannot maintain attitude control. If this happens, the spacecraft will start to tumble and be unable to point its antennas at Earth. Worse, since the craft’s solar panels are on only one side, there is the danger that the batteries won’t charge properly, shutting it down for lack of power.
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NASA and Deep Impact Probe
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