The two robots have been lost for more than a month and have flown so deep into space that NASA will be unable to reach them. Nicknamed ‘EVE’ and ‘WALL-E’ it is thought the spacecraft are now millions of miles beyond Mars. Despite losing contact with the two spacecraft, NASA still considers the mission a complete success as they could still talk to them despite being so deep in space.
The mission’s chief engineer, Andy Flesh said: “This mission was always about pushing the limits of miniaturised technology and seeing just how far it could take us.
“We’ve put a stake in the ground. Future CubeSats might go even farther.”
NASA also insisted that the mission had helped improve concepts that would allow others missions to go further deeper into space.
Collectively known as MarCO, the pair launched last year and were purely a speculative mission to see if they were able to operate in deep space.
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The two followed NASA’s previous Mars aircraft, InSight which touched down on the red planet around the New Year.
EVE and WALL-E were used to ferry communications from InSight and helped beam data back from the rover.
WALL-E also sent back the first incredible images of Mars while EVE also collected radio data.
After their work around Mars, the two spacecraft continued into deep space.
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The last message received from either robot was on January 4 and NASA believe that the two are a million to two million miles from Mars.
It is unknown what caused why the pair have lost touch with NASA.
They will continue to fly away from Earth as February goes on which means receiving data even more difficult.
NASA now hope to use the technology for further projects with John Baker, MarCO programme manager concluding that there is “big potential” in the small packages.
Source : EXPRESS