Feeds

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

Aussie station gets signal from rogue Phobos-Grunt

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.