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NASA’s first mini-spacecraft MarCO CubeSats in deep space go silent

NASA’s first mini-spacecraft MarCO CubeSats in deep space go silent

NASA has lost touch with the first mini-spacecraft that ventured into deep space, according to the US space agency which said that it is unlikely the twin CubeSats will be heard from again.

The MarCO CubeSats were launched in 2018 to test if such low-cost technology can operate in deep space.

EVE and WALL-E

The twins, nicknamed EVE and WALL-E served as communications relays during the InSight’s Mars landing, beaming back data at each stage of its descent to the Martian surface in near-real time, along with InSight’s first image. WALL-E sent back stunning images of Mars as well, while EVE performed some simple radio science.

WALL-E was last heard from on December 29 and EVE, on January 4. Based on trajectory calculations, WALL-E is currently more than 1.6 million kilometers past Mars; EVE is farther, almost 3.2 million kilometres past Mars.

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