In a setback for NASA’s pioneering comet probe that hunted for planets beyond the solar system, the space agency on Friday declared a complete full stop to the Deep Impact comet mission after it suddenly went silent after nine years of exploration.
In a statement, the space agency said that the mission is over for Deep Impact, which in 2005 smashed a comet with a projectile to give scientists a peek of the interior. The spacecraft went on to rendezvous with two more comets.
The space agency has lost radio contact with its Deep Impact spacecraft last month. NASA held a software glitch responsible for loss of the contact.
In a statement, the space agency said that they lost communication with the probe sometime between August 11th and August 14th.
Deep Impact was first launched in January 2005 to observe the Tempel 1 comet, and has since gone on to photograph and collect data on several others.
“The last communication was on August 8th. After considerable effort, the team on August 30th determined the cause of the problem,” principal investigator Mike A’Hearn of the University of Maryland said in a statement this week.
After trying for a month to regain communications, NASA says there is no hope left.