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Ground Controllers Make Contact With Lost Russian Mars Probe


Contact was lost with the unmanned Mars mission within hours of takeoff.

Contact was lost with the unmanned Mars mission within hours of takeoff.

Russia's stranded "Phobos-Grunt" Mars probe has emitted its first "sign of life."

The European Space Agency (ESA) said that controllers at a tracking station in western Australia made contact with the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft late on November 22.

The probe was launched successfully on November 8 but mission control lost radio contact with the craft hours later.

Since then, the probe has been stuck in a decaying orbit around Earth and Russian space agency officials have admitted that the mission may have failed.

The "Phobos-Grunt" was designed to fly to Mars's moon Phobos and bring a soil sample back to Earth by 2014.

Russia on November 10 requested assistance from the US and the European Space Agency in tracking the probe.

compiled from agency reports
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