Feeds

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

Aussie station gets signal from rogue Phobos-Grunt

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
LOHAN Kickstarter push breaks TWELVE THOUSAND POUNDS
That's right, folks, you've stumped up OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.