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Scientists lose contact with SOHO solar spacecraft

U.S. and European scientists have lost contact with the SOHO
spacecraft, which has been circling and studying the sun for the past
two years, the European Space Agency said Friday. ESA said ground
controllers lost contact with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
at 1.16 a.m. Thursday and have been unable to re-establish contact
since that time. The satellite, a joint project of ESA and the NASA,
is programmed to automatically reorient itself towards the sun when
an anomaly occurs but has so far failed to do so. ESA and NASA
recently decided to extend SOHO's mission to 2003 so it could observe
dark sunspots on the sun's surface, which are expected to peak around
the year 2000. See