Mars rover phones home

Spirit, the US spacecraft probing Mars, has made a brief contact with earth after a day's worrisome blackout.

    Contact with Spirit was lost on Wednesday

    NASA scientists on Friday said data sent by the rover was captured by one of the antennas of the international Deep Space Network near Madrid, Spain at 1234 GMT.

    The communications came about 90 minutes after the start of the Martian day at a transmission speed of 10 bits per second, which is considered very weak.

    The brief revival came after scientists attempted in vain to establish contact with the rover throughout Thursday.

    Mystery snag

    Specialists first noticed trouble with the rover when communications were interrupted on Wednesday, the rover's 19th day on the surface of the red planet.

    Scientists first blamed the breakdown on a storm raging over Australia. But they later conceded the problem could be more serious and crippling in nature.

    NASA engineers are to send Spirit several commands in the coming hours hoping to get some information about its condition and determine the source of its communication trouble.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.