Russia still unable to communicate with Mars probe

November 13, 2011

Russian space engineers are still struggling to fix a probe bound for a moon of Mars that instead got stuck in Earth's orbit.

The Phobos-Grunt (Phobos-Ground) was launched Wednesday and reached preliminary orbit, but its engines never fired to send it off to the . The will come crashing down in a couple of weeks if engineers fail to fix the problem.

The ITAR-Tass news agency reported Sunday that efforts to communicate with the have so far been unsuccessful. The agency said U.S. and European space engineers also were attempting to retrieve data from the probe as it passed over their territory.

A satellite tracking website showed the Mars probe steadily losing altitude as it passed over Asia on Sunday afternoon.

Explore further: China and Russia aiming for Mars

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RobL
not rated yet Nov 13, 2011
Solar panels were recently deployed, giving engineers until 21 November.

wycia
not rated yet Nov 13, 2011
But it is unable to reach Mars, so only possible way is to send it off the solar system or to crash it into the ocean.
Alex_
not rated yet Nov 14, 2011
is there anyway way they can land the payload and ditch the boosters at cost and try again

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