Signal received from Russia’s Mars moon probe

MOSCOW (AP) ? Officials say the European Space Agency has received the first signal from an unmanned spacecraft bound for moon of Mars since it got stuck in Earth’s orbit.

Russia’s space agency says the ESA’s tracking facility in Australia got the signal from the Phobos-Ground probe early Wednesday. The ESA has been helping Russia to try to communicate with the probe.

Roscosmos said in a statement that Russian and European space experts will coordinate further attempts to contact the probe.

The $170 million craft has become stranded in orbit after its thrusters failed to fire after the Nov. 9 launch to send it on its path to one of Mars’ two moons, Phobos. Wednesday’s contact raised hopes of preventing the probe from crashing back to Earth.