Washington: NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft has not heeded scientists’ commands of hibernation, or safe mode and is now spinning out of control, the principal investigator, Michael A’Hearn has revealed.
The craft, which became famous after blasting a projectile into the Comet Tempel 1 in 2005, lost contact with Earth between August 11 and August 14, the Huffington Post reported.
Engineers traced the problem to a software-communications glitch that reset the craft’s computer.
Mission scientists are racing against the time as the spacecraft’s batteries are relying on power that is provided by Deep Impact’s solar panels.
A’Hearn said that if the panels are pointing in a direction where they receive partial sunlight, the batteries would be able to last a few months but if they point away from the Sun, the batteries is going to die in just a few days and once the batteries are gone, the spacecraft can no longer be revived.