US denies any link to failed Russian Phobos-grunt probe

Russia continues to look for what caused the failure of its Phobos-grunt probe. The failed propulsion system ultimately led to the massive spacecraft falling back into the atmosphere and burning up. Russia is so far looking in the wrong place according to some of its own scientists. Russian officials have been hinting that the US radar station in Alaska may have had something to do with the failure of the probe.

Some in Russia claim that a strong electromagnetic emission from the Alaskan radar installation could have caused parts of the probe to fail. While Russia has stopped short of officially accusing the US of sabotaging the probe, it has announced that it is investigating the possibility. The US has now came out and denied any link to the failed mission.

The US Department of State went so far as to point out that when asked the US helped Russia try to establish contact with the probe in hopes of salvaging the mission. Russian officials have pointed out that they are considering other causes for the failure, including issues in the engineering of the probe.

"We have seen speculation in the Russian media that foreign interference might have contributed to the failures of several recent Russian space missions," Department of State spokesperson Jamie Mannina said. "We do not believe there is truth to these reports."

[via Marsdaily]