The & quot; Wall-E & 39; NASA's mysterious planet disappears mysteriously after the death of Mars – and the sister spacecraft Eve & # 39; also missing



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A pair of NASA probes disappeared mysteriously after a flyby with Mars.

It's been over a month since NASA heard about the 14 million-pound spacecraft, which was called WALL-E and EVE after the animated Disney robots.

    This is one of the last photos taken by Mission Marco before disappearing forever

Nasa

This is one of the last photos taken by Mission Marco before disappearing forever

Engineers say they are unlikely to see the probes again, but they praised the mission, nicknamed the Mars Cube One (MarCO), as a great success.

That's because it proved that experimental CubeSats – a new kind of low-cost satellite the size of a paste – could reach deep space and beyond.

NASA hopes to use the compact spacecraft in decades to explore distant corners of the universe at a fraction of the cost of most space missions.

"This mission has always been about pushing the limits of miniaturized technology and seeing how far it could take us," said Andy Klesh, the mission's chief engineer.

Meet Wall-E and Eve: NASA's first experimental CubeSats
    The two ships, known collectively as Marco, passed through Mars a month ago (artist's impression)

Nasa

The two ships, known collectively as Marco, passed through Mars a month ago (artist's impression)

"We put a stake on the floor. Future CubeSats can go even further."

WALL-E and EVE were launched toward Mars in May 2018, along with NASA insight, which landed on the Red Planet in November.

The two CubeSats, which are the first of this type of spacecraft to fly into deep space, were close to Mars during the landing of the Insight.

They helped Nasa quickly transmit landing information as Insight descended to the surface, "clearing the way" for future CubeSat missions, according to NASA.

    Each probe is approximately the size of a folder

Nasa

Each probe is approximately the size of a folder

After the success of Insight, WALL-E and EVE continued beyond Mars to test how far they could go.

But it looks like the spacecraft has finally reached its limit.

WALL-E was last heard on December 29, while EVE's last message was received on January 4.

Based on its trajectories at the time, WALL-E is currently more than 1 million miles away from Mars, while EVE is almost double the distance from the planet.

    WALL-E and EVE transmitted data from NASA's Insight Mars probe in November (artist's impression)

Nasa

WALL-E and EVE transmitted data from NASA's Insight Mars probe in November (artist's impression)

The mission team is not sure why the probes have disappeared, but it has several theories.

WALL_E has a leaky propeller, and problems with controlling the ship's direction can cause them to oscillate and lose the ability to send and receive commands.

Problems with brightness sensors that allow CubeSats to be pointed at the Sun and recharge their batteries could be another factor.

The Marches are in orbit around the sun and will only get away from the star in February.

    Scientists at NASA say the plane is desolate until they return to the sun this summer (artist's impression)

Nasa

Scientists at NASA say the plane is desolate until they return to the sun this summer (artist's impression)

They will not start moving toward the sun again until this summer.

The team will attempt to contact CubeSats at this time, although no one knows if their batteries and other parts will last for so long.

NASA plans to launch several new CubeSats in the next few years.

"There is great potential in these small packages," said Marco program manager John Baker.

"CubeSats – part of a larger group of spacecraft called SmallSats – is a new platform for space exploration that is accessible to more than just government agencies."

WALL-E and EVE are not the first probes NASA has lost.

Last August, he admitted that his rover Opportunity could be lost forever on Mars after a storm of dust across the planet stifled its solar panels.

NASA has discovered an Indian spacecraft lost in orbit around the moon in 2016.

You can read our summary of the best photos taken from Mars by clicking here.


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