The Desdemona's mission went as planned through arrival at ENC. While in orbit around ENC, a large solar flare disrupted communications. . The ship's last communication was:
"Copy information about upcoming solar event. The crew on board the Desdemona will take shelter inside the radiation shelter of the ships engine room.
Ingo and his assistant Natalia will remain on the surface. The plant's magnetosphere combined with the shielding on the lander should be sufficient protection. Ingo has discovered a network of caves. This is an exciting discovery and he wants to have as much time on the surface as possible. He also thinks that the caves are deep enough to provide shelter from the storm if needed. Expect to re-establish contact in 24 to 32 hours. Desdemona out."
The crew of the Desdemona failed to re-establish contact after the solar flare subsided. After several days of radio silence, a robot probe originally planned to study the rings of YEL was re-directed to ENC to investigate.
Using the robot probe, operators on the home planet found the ship without power and drifting in orbit. The camera images showed that the first lander had returned to the ship. A second lander had been launched and landed on the surface of ENC. They were unable to establish radio or visual contact with any of the crew.
Over the course of the next month operators on the home planet used the robot probe's manipulator arm to activate the airlock on the empty docking port of the Desdemona and explore the ship. Inside they found no signs of an emergency, but no signs of the crew either.