NASA comet spacecraft Deep Impact 'spinning out of control,' officials say

Photo: NASA

NASA has lost contact with one if its oldest comet chasing spacecraft and is likely "spinning out of control" due to a computer glitch, reports.'s Mike Wall says that a software glitch inside Deep Impact, a spacecraft that has been in orbit since January of 2005, caused a major malfunction in the unit. Officials have not been able to contact it since Aug. 8.

Several attempts to reboot the system have failed and Wall reports that NASA doesn't know how much time they have to get Deep Impact back into working order.

Deep Impact's lead investigator is Michael A'Hearn, an astronomer and professor at the University of Maryland.