The Envisat, the largest environmental monitoring satellite in history, has gone silent after a decade of operation. The satellite was launched in March 2002 by the European Space Agency and has been sending information on the planet's oceans, ice, land and atmosphere since then. The ESA says it failed to make contact on April 8 as it passed over a Swedish ground station.
Envisat is equipped with 10 different instruments for collecting environmental data that has been used in 4,000 science projects by 70 countries. The data has been crucial in studies on climate change.
The ESA hasn't given up hope for the satellite. It has brought together engineers, flight dynamics scientists and mission operators to work on re-establishing contact. But even if that is not possible, climate change science won't suffer for long; the ESA already had plans to launch seven Sentinel satellites in 2013 to replace the Envisat.
Image via ESA
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