Author Topic: Phobos-Grunt  (Read 501 times)

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« on: December 07, 2011, 05:20:17 AM »

  Phobos-Grunt was launched Nov. 8 on a mission to collect rock samples from the Mars moon Phobos. Shortly after launch, the spacecraft suffered a malfunction that stranded it in Earth orbit.

Despite repeated attempts, mission controllers have not been able to communicate with Phobos-Grunt.

Unless engineers can regain control of the spacecraft, the 14.6-ton (13.2 metric tons) probe is headed for an uncontrolled plunge into Earth’s atmosphere.

"I estimate that Phobos-Grunt will decay on Jan. 13, 2012, plus or minus eight days," said Ted Molczan of Toronto, a leader in the community of citizen satellite watchers.