November 12, 2011
Russian Mars Probe Stuck in Earth Orbit
Russia’s Phobos-Grunt mission, which was designed to return samples of a Mars moon to Earth, remained stuck in Earth orbit as of Nov. 11.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos acknowledged in a Nov. 9 statement that Phobos-Grunt failed to ignite its on-board engines and became stuck in Earth orbit. Roscosmos added that it would attempt radio contact with the spacecraft late Nov. 9 Moscow time and try to “re-enable the main engines.” As of press time Nov. 11, Roscosmos had posted no further update. U.S. Strategic Command’s Space-Track website projected Nov. 10 that Phobos-Grunt would re-enter Earth’s atmosphere Nov. 26 if the spacecraft remained in its current orbit. More @ Space News
Posted by ST2NH at 11/12/2011