Feeds

It's ALIVE! Broken Russian Mars probe finally answers calls

Aussie station gets signal from rogue Phobos-Grunt

Top three mobile application threats

The Martian probe Phobos-Grunt, lost in space for the last 14 days, has finally responded to Earth's signals.

The European Space Agency said on its website today that its tracking station in Perth, Australia, had received a signal from the craft at 2025 GMT on Tuesday.

"ESA teams are working closely with engineers in Russia to determine how best to maintain communication with the spacecraft," the agency said, promising more news as soon as it has any.

Despite repeated attempts to start a conversation with Phobos-Grunt, this is the first signal Earth has received from the probe since it launched on November 9.

Getting into orbit around our planet was relatively easy for the craft, but after that its two engines failed to fire to send it on its way to Mars and the Martian moon Phobos, leaving it stranded and circling Earth.

The window of opportunity to send it on its original mission - a few passes around the Red Planet and a landing on Phobos to collect soil samples - closed on Monday, but experts have suggested a number of alternative space explorations the probe could do if boffins can get its engines going.

As of Monday, although the craft can't land on Phobos, it could still make the journey to Mars, though it might be too late for that now. The current favourite alternative mission seems to be a trip to Earth's moon, something that Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, also said it was considering.

The head of the ESA in Russia, Rene Pishel, told state news agency RIA Novosti that contact had been made but that was only a start to rescuing the probe.

"This is the beginning of the process, telemetry has not been obtained and we're working closely with our Russian colleagues," Pishel said. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.