Failed Russian Mars Spacecraft Phobos-Grunt Crashes Into The Pacific Ocean
By on January 15th, 2012

The Phobos-Grunt Mars Moon spacecraft has hit water! According to Russian defense ministry reports, the re-entering satellite fragmented and fell into the Pacific Ocean about 1,250 km west of Wellington Island, an island to the west of the Patagonian Ice Field, Chile. The crash took place at 18:45 CET, say several sources.

More details from our previous report: http://techie-buzz.com/science/phobos-grunt-crash.html

The craft…

There was initial panic and both Roskosmos and NASA played crucial roles in assuring the public that the fears were unfounded. The fears of a toxic nuclear fuel spill were allayed by statements by NASA on their website.

Initial reports indicate that no spill has taken place. There have also been no reports of any debris falling on habited areas.

… And the dreams surrounding it.

The spacecraft was supposed to land on Mars’ moon, Phobos, in order to study the satellite. It was supposed to collect soil samples and return to Earth. Unfortunately for the $170 billion craft, it failed right during the launch and was stuck in orbit for a long time. It had even gone off the radar. After several unsuccessful attempts at locating and communicating with the craft, it was finally found. Several attempts were made by both Russian and American scientists to bring the craft safely back to Earth or to steer it to its original mission. All efforts failed. Left with no options and a potentially dangerous craft hanging mid-air, Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, along with NASA, decided to send the craft to a watery grave.

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Author: Debjyoti Bardhan Google Profile for Debjyoti Bardhan
Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.

Debjyoti Bardhan has written and can be contacted at debjyoti@techie-buzz.com.

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