Russian spacecraft to crash to Earth Jan 15January 13th, 2012 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS
London, Jan 13 (IANS) The remainder of the crippled Russian spacecraft Phobos-Grunt is set to crash to the Earth Jan 15 following a botched mission to Mars, experts have said.
The craft has been in a low orbit around the Earth since losing contact with the ground shortly after its launch Nov 8.
It was intended to explore Phobos, one of the two moons of Mars, but became stranded while still orbiting Earth. Attempts to put it back on its original course have failed, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Most of its mass is expected to burn up as the craft re-enters the atmosphere but 20 or 30 pieces collectively weighing about 200 kg could reach the Earth. They could fall into an ocean.
Phobos-Grunt also contains large quantities of unused fuel that would burn or dissipate in the atmosphere.
Scientists said observers would be unlikely to see the debris crash to Earth unless they flew directly overhead in a clear sky. Chances of anyone being injured were also absolutely minute.
- Russia's Mars spacecraft to fall back to Earth - Jan 14, 2012
- Russia's Mars spacecraft falls in Pacific Ocean - Jan 16, 2012
- Russia's troubled Mars probe to hit earth - Jan 13, 2012
- Russia plans new Mars probe in 2018 - Feb 02, 2012
- Programme glitch led to Russian Mars probe failure: Report - Jan 31, 2012
- Russia may repeat mission to Mars moon - Feb 01, 2012
- US radar may have damaged Russian Mars probe: Daily - Jan 17, 2012
- Russian probe fails to set course to Mars - Nov 09, 2011
- Russia to send man to moon by 2030 - Apr 28, 2012
- Russia fails to make contact with Mars moon probe - Nov 12, 2011
- Debris tracker to provide two-hour warning before satellite crash - Sep 23, 2011
- NASA to clear space junk with gas puffs - Apr 13, 2012
- Russia denies 'systemic crisis' in space industry - Sep 07, 2012
- Soviet satellite to fall to Earth - Mar 27, 2012
- Out-of-control satellite tumbling back to Earth, expected to miss North America - Sep 22, 2011