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Submission + - NASA's Deep Impact comet probe is lost due to software glitch (

Taco Cowboy writes: NASA has lost contact with its Deep Impact comet probe spacecraft, and the reason is software glitch

The spacecraft was launched in January 2005 for a close-up study of Comet Tempel-1

NASA is calling off attempts to find its Deep Impact comet probe after a suspected software glitch shut down radio communications in August, officials said on Friday.

Last month, engineers lost contact with Deep Impact and unsuccessfully tried to regain communications. The cause of the failure was unknown, but NASA suspects the spacecraft lost control, causing its antenna and solar panels to be pointed in the wrong direction

According to BBC Worldservice the spacecraft's software "ran out of digits"

After a month of fruitless attempts to find the probe, NASA on Friday announced it was formally ending the mission

NASA had hoped Deep Impact would play a key role in observations of the approaching Comet ISON, a suspected first-time visitor to the inner solar system that was discovered in September 2012 by two Russian astronomers

The comet is heading toward a close encounter with the sun in November, a brush that it may not survive

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NASA's Deep Impact comet probe is lost due to software glitch

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