Two Nasa spacecraft mysteriously ‘fall silent’ after journeying past Mars and onwards into the void

Two Nasa spacecraft are missing in space after travelling past Mars and zooming into infinity.

The tiny briefcase-sized ships launched last year on a dangerous mission to ‘push the limits of experimental technology’.

Nasa has been unable to contact these ‘daring twins’ for a month, which means they are more or less certainly dead.

The craft are known as Mars Cube One (MarCO). They are tiny satellites known as ‘cubesats’.

MarCO-B, one of the experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles away (Picture: Nasa)

They played a vital role during the recent landing of the InSight exploration craft on Mars, beaming back images of its descent in real time and also relaying data from the spaceship including its first picture from the Martian surface.

The missing spacecraft are nicknamed EVE and WALL-E after characters from a Pixar film.

It’s believed WALL-E is currently more than one million miles past Mars whilst EVE is almost two million miles away from the Red Planet.

‘This mission was always about pushing the limits of miniaturized technology and seeing just how far it could take us,’ said Andy Klesh, the mission’s chief engineer.

‘We’ve put a stake in the ground. Future CubeSats might go even farther.’

A view of Mars snapped by the Nasa InSight lander on November 26, 2019 (Picture: Nasa)

Nasa has several theories about why it has lost contact with the pair – none of which involve the interference of aliens.

It’s known that WALL-E has a leaky thruster, which could be causing communication problems.

They may have suffered malfunctions affecting the brightness sensors which point them towards the sun, allowing solar panels to recharge the crafts’ batteries.

The pair may also be afflicted with dodgy attitude-control systems, which doesn’t mean they’ve thrown a huff but suggests their trajectory is ‘wobbling’ so ground control can’t contact them properly.

Both spaceships will start moving towards the sun this summer and it’s hoped they will spring back to life.

However, Nasa admitted it’s ‘anyone’s guess whether their batteries and other parts will last that long’.


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