Lost NASA spacecraft phones home
Pioneer 10: sending messages from beyond.
NASA scientists had heard nothing from the 29-year-old spacecraft since last summer. But a signal sent up from a radiotelescope facility in Madrid, Spain — a test of communications technologies for future missions — was received by Pioneer 10, which then returned a signal to Madrid.
Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to make direct observations of Jupiter, and finished its mission in 1997. It is currently heading towards the Taurus constellation — but will take 2 million years to reach the nearest of its stars.