ESA gives up bids to contact stranded Russian space probe

Dec 02, 2011
The European Space Agency said it will no longer try to make contact with Russia's stranded Mars probe Phobos-Grunt
A Zenit-2SB rocket, carrying the Phobos-Grunt (Phobos -Soil) spacecraft , stands at a launch pad in November 2011. The European Space Agency said it will no longer try to make contact with Russia's stranded Mars probe Phobos-Grunt if attempts made Friday fail.

The European Space Agency said it will no longer try to make contact with Russia's stranded Mars probe Phobos-Grunt if attempts made Friday fail.

"We have already told our colleagues at the (Russian) Lavochkin institute that if communication bids during the day and tonight fail we will stop," Interfax news agency quoted ESA's representative in Russia, Rene Pichel, as saying.

Pichel said ESA and the Russians had not had contacts with the probe for more than a week and the instruments and people working to establish contacts should therefore be used for other projects.

"They're mobilising resources that we could use for other projects," he said.

The European Agency's ground station in Perth, Australia had made contact with the probe on November 22, the first sign of life from Phobos-Grunt since it got stuck in Earth's orbit after launch on November 9.

The Perth tracking station had also managed to receive a second signal from the probe.

But ESA said last week further attempts had failed.

On November 24, Russia announced its scientists had for the first time made contact with 13.5-tonne Phobos-Grunt and a signal and some telemetry data had been received.

Phobos-Grunt is Russia's first interplanetary mission since 1996, when an attempt to send an instrument-laden 6.1-tonne probe to the Red Planet, Mars 96, ended with a failure just after launch.

The five-billion-ruble ($165-million) scout was designed to travel to the of , scoop up soil and return the sample to Earth by

Explore further: China to send orbiter to moon and back

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

No new contact with stranded Mars probe

Nov 25, 2011

The European Space Agency (ESA) said on Friday it had been unable to establish a new link with Russia's stricken Mars probe but added that the craft's orbit seemed to have become more stable.

Russia Mars probe considered lost: report

Nov 12, 2011

Efforts to resume contact with a Russian space mission to Mars stuck in Earth orbit after launch have failed and the probe must be considered lost, Interfax news agency reported Saturday.

Chance of Russia Mars probe rescue 'very small'

Nov 11, 2011

The chances of rescuing a Russian probe that is stuck in an Earth orbit after failing to set out on its planned mission for Mars are very small, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday.

Recommended for you

China to send orbiter to moon and back

1 hour ago

China will launch its latest lunar orbiter in the coming days, state media said Wednesday, in its first attempt to send a spacecraft around the moon and back to Earth.

NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

11 hours ago

After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, ...

Cosmic rays threaten future deep-space astronaut missions

15 hours ago

Crewed missions to Mars remain an essential goal for NASA, but scientists are only now beginning to understand and characterize the radiation hazards that could make such ventures risky, concludes a new paper ...

MAVEN studies passing comet and its effects

18 hours ago

NASA's newest orbiter at Mars, MAVEN, took precautions to avoid harm from a dust-spewing comet that flew near Mars today and is studying the flyby's effects on the Red Planet's atmosphere.

How to safely enjoy the October 23 partial solar eclipse

18 hours ago

2014 – a year rich in eclipses. The Moon dutifully slid into Earth's shadow in April and October gifting us with two total lunars. Now it's the Sun's turn. This Thursday October 23 skywatchers across much ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2011
Nom nom nom nom......

Gulp.

Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrp!

Ahhhhhhhhhh......

All done.
gopher65
2 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2011
If they're making intermittent contact, I wonder if it is rotating on odd axes, and unable to right itself?
Nanobanano
1 / 5 (4) Dec 03, 2011
Perfect way to bilk the people for a cool 160 million.

they probably never even launched anything. Maybe a dummy package that cost a fraction of the alleged mission costs.
omatumr
1 / 5 (4) Dec 03, 2011
Thanks for an intriguing story.

We have all been richly blessed with an ancient curse:

"May you live in interesting times."

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
http://myprofile....anuelo09

PS - Of greater scientific interest today is this report from Amsterdam on another manifestation of the enormous potential energy (mass) stored in neutron stars:

"Fastest spinning star ever discovered"

www.nu.nl/wetensc...ekt.html

It includes this intriguing quote about a star close to us:

"The equatorial rotational velocity of 102 VFTS is three hundred times greater than that of the sun, and thus approaching the point where centrifugal forces would tear the star apart."