NASA declares an end to Deep Impact comet mission

LOS ANGELES (AP) — NASA has given up on the Deep Impact spacecraft, which suddenly went silent after nine years of exploration.

The space agency said Friday the mission is over for Deep Impact, which in 2005 smashed a comet with a projectile to give scientists a peek of the interior. The spacecraft went on to rendezvous with two more comets.

Last month, engineers lost contact with Deep Impact. After trying for a month to regain communications, NASA says there is no more hope left.

University of Maryland scientists, who led the team, say the spacecraft lasted longer than they imagined and returned many discoveries about how comets formed.

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