Phobos-Grunt crashes into the Pacific Ocean

Jan 16, 2012

If you have been following the drama surrounding Russia's failed attempt to send a probe dubbed Phobos-Grunt to the moon, the saga is now over. The probe failed to reach an orbit that would allow the massive scientific tool to start its trip to the Red Planet. The probe instead started to fall back to Earth. With so many factors contributing to where something falling back to Earth from Space might land, no one knew exactly where Phobos-Grunt would hit.

What we did know was that some pieces of the probe would survive reentry and posed some risk to several major cities around the country. With most of our planet covered in water, the chance was that the ocean would be where the probe chunks landed and that held true. The probe apparently broke up as expected in the atmosphere and hit the Pacific Ocean around 12:45 p.m. Easter time.

This was the second Mars probe to fail to make it to the planet that Russia has launched. Some in Russia have hinted that some sort of anti-satellite weapon may be the reason that Russia has had so many space failures recently. Western nations have denied that. Russia has not accused any nation of sabotage at this point.

[via NYT]

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