European Space Agency fighting to save Envisat satellite

Last updated at 13:39

The race is on to save an important European satellite, after scientists lost contact with it.

The spacecraft Envisat has been operating for ten years, beaming back pictures of the Earth from space.

The eight-tonne satellite seems to be intact, but it's stopped sending any messages back home.

There are worries that the "safe mode" that makes sure the solar panels point towards the sun might not be working.

If that is the case, the batteries could soon run out and that would be the end for Envisat.

Envisat radar imageesa
This picture of the Canary Islands was Envisat's last transmission

A team of experts are trying hard to work out the problem and how they can get back in contact with it.

The satellite's information is used for lots of things including checking for oil spills at sea, iceberg hazards and for weather forecasts.

Although it wasn't built to last as long as it has, The European Space Agency (ESA) had hoped to keep it working until 2014.