Topic: Phobos-Grunt spacecraft
MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti)
- Phobos-Grunt mission ‘impossible,’ says chief designer
- ESA to resume attempts to contact Russia's failed Mars probe
- Phobos-Grunt expected to fall back to Earth Jan. 9
- ESA halts attempts to contact Russian Mars moon probe
Russia’s troubled Phobos-Grunt spacecraft will fall back to Earth in the period of January 6-19, Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Friday.
No more than 200 kilograms of the spacecraft’s debris will reach the Earth's surface and the fuel is expected to totally burn up in the atmosphere, the space agency said.
“According to expert estimations, the time period of the spacecraft’s falling to Earth will cover the period from January 6 to January 19, 2012…the location and the exact time will be unveiled no earlier than a few days prior,” Roscosmos said in a statement, published on its website.
Earlier, the head of Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, said the spacecraft would break up during its reentry into the atmosphere and none of the fragments would likely hit the Earth's surface.
Phobos-Grunt, launched on November 9, was designed to bring back rock and soil samples from the Martian moon Phobos. However, it has been stuck in a so-called support orbit since its engines failed to put it on course for the Red Planet.
According to NASA, Russia has failed in all 17 of its attempts to study the Red Planet close-up since 1960. The most recent failure before last month occurred in 1996, when Russia lost its Mars-96 orbiter during launch.
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- ruypenalvaMore a tentative17:31, 17/12/2011More a tentative to reach Mars failed. Russia scientists need to explain themself why they dont't manage to put a spacecraft at a Martian orbit. Something is wrong either with the calculus or with the hardware. The fact that 17 tentatives failed should prompt a complete revision of the soft and hardware. There are too many subcontractors in the Russia space programe.
News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.