Monday, January 16, 2012

Doomed Phobos-Grunt Probe Crashes into Pacific, Say Russians

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Phobos-Grunt Probe Crashing Into Ocean

By msnbc.com
1-15-12


Military spokesman reports Phobos-Grunt re-entry; no reports of damage

     MOSCOW — A failed probe that was designed to travel to a moon of Mars but got stuck in Earth orbit has crashed into the Pacific Ocean, Russian officials said Sunday.

The unmanned Phobos-Grunt probe was one of the heaviest and most toxic space derelicts ever to crash to Earth, but there were no reports of injury or damage. There's a good chance that no one saw the spacecraft's fiery plunge.

"Phobos-Grunt fragments have crashed down in the Pacific Ocean," the RIA-Novosti news service quoted Alexei Zolotukhin, a spokesman for Russia's aerospace defense forces, as saying. The debris zone was said to be 775 miles (1,250 kilometers) west of Wellington Island in the South Pacific. Re-entry was estimated to occur at about 12:45 p.m. ET, based on the data received by the Russians.

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