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MOSCOW, November 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The European Space Agency last night managed to hold two communication sessions with the Russian inter-planetary space probe Phobos-Grunt.
As the spokeswoman of Russia’s federal space agency has said on Thursday an ESA ground station in Pert, Australia, established contact with the probe.
“During two communication sessions telemetric data were received, which has been handed over to specialists and the Lavochkin research and industrial association for examination,” the spokeswoman said.
Phobos-Grunt was launched with a Zenit-2SB rocket from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan on November 9. The probe entered a low earth orbit, from which it was to be put into a flight path towards Mars with two ignitions of the engine. For unknown reasons the control system failed to issue the command to turn the engine on.
At first, all attempts to establish contact with the probe were unsuccessful. There have been signs over the past two days the situation may change for the better after specialists restored contact with the probe.