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Russian Phobos mission fails

Posted on Wednesday, 9 November, 2011 | Comment icon 27 comments | News tip by: Atlantia

Image credit: Roscosmos

Russia's new $170M Phobos-bound spacecraft suffered equipment failure within minutes of lifting off.

While the initial stages of the launch went as planned, the probe was meant to fire its engines twice around 11 minutes later but never did. Now the spacecraft is stuck in Earth's orbit and engineers have around three days to repair the fault before its batteries run out. At 13.2 tons the Phobos-Grunt probe is the heaviest interplanetary spacecraft ever built and represents what was hoped to be a triumphant return to space exploration by Russia's space agency.

"A daring Russian mission to fly an unmanned probe to Phobos, a moon of Mars, and fly samples of its soil back to Earth was derailed right after its launch by equipment failure."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by encouraged on 11 November, 2011, 1:31
Yeah! Catching up would be a tough thing to do. We put 60% of their productive day on hold for 3 months training. They caught up with being two years behind on their work in just 6 months. Catching up would be a hard thing to accomplish, especially at the rate technology is rolling out. They would need to borrow some of our professors as well and start doing so with the next generation.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Muenzenhamster on 11 November, 2011, 22:14
Russia has suffered several spectacular launch failures lately. I wonder if perhaps we should bring the shuttle out of retirement after all.
Comment icon #20 Posted by loganXman on 12 November, 2011, 15:23
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsMjWmetfa0 maybe..........., and the part I'm just interested in is the deflection.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Still Waters on 13 November, 2011, 21:56
Efforts are continuing to try to regain control of the Russian Mars mission that is stuck circling the Earth. The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft was put in orbit on Wednesday, but failed to fire the engine that was designed to take it on to the Red Planet. Engineers have been using tracking stations around the globe in an attempt to talk to the probe and diagnose its problems - but without success. Europe has offered Russia its assistance. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15698439
Comment icon #22 Posted by Mike 215 on 14 November, 2011, 0:16
The satellite ha 10 tons of toxic chemicals on board along with a 'small' amount of Cobalt-57. Maybe the US can secretly ignite its computers and have the thing crash into Iran.
Comment icon #23 Posted by DONTEATUS on 15 November, 2011, 3:51
Maybe they need to stop naming there missions Fobos-Grunt.
Comment icon #24 Posted by 27vet on 15 November, 2011, 5:51
The computers were probably hacked.
Comment icon #25 Posted by St.Anger on 15 November, 2011, 8:09
Weird but the probe sort of looks like a frog..lol
Comment icon #26 Posted by ThePitOfReason on 17 November, 2011, 7:46
Great more trash to fall out of the sky
Comment icon #27 Posted by DONTEATUS on 18 November, 2011, 0:13
Chicken Little will have a Field day ! "The Sky was Falling"

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