Russia's Mars probe will crash to Earth in January

Dec 16, 2011 By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV , Associated Press
In this Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 file photo, the Zenit-2SB rocket with Phobos-Grunt (Phobos-Ground) blasts off from its launch pad at the Cosmodrome Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Russia's space agency says a probe bound for a moon of Mars that instead got stuck in Earth's orbit will plummet down to Earth next month.The agency said Friday Dec. 16, 2011 the unmanned Phobos-Ground probe that got stranded after its Nov. 9 launch will come crashing down between Jan. 6 and Jan. 19. (AP Photo/Oleg Urusov, pool)

A Russian spacecraft bound for a moon of Mars and stuck in Earth's orbit will come crashing back next month, but its toxic fuel and radioactive material on board will pose no danger of contamination, the Russian space agency said Friday.

Between 20 and 30 fragments of the probe with a total weight of up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds) will survive the fiery plunge and shower the Earth's surface, Roscosmos warned in a statement.

The agency said the unmanned Phobos-Ground spacecraft will plummet to Earth between Jan. 6 and Jan. 19, and the rough area of where the fragments could fall could only be calculated a few days ahead of its plunge.

As of now, it said only that the probe's fragments could rain down anywhere along a broad swath between 51.4 degrees north to 51.4 degrees south, which would include most of .

While the agency had lost contact with the probe following its launch on Nov. 9, this was the first time acknowledged that the $170-million craft has been lost and will come crashing down.

Since its November launch the engineers in Russia and at the have attempted unsuccessfully to propel it away from Earths orbit and toward its target.

Phobos-Ground weighs 13.2 metric tons (14.6 tons), which includes 11 metric tons (12 tons) of highly toxic fuel. Experts had warned that if the fuel has frozen, some could survive entry into Earth and pose a serious threat if it falls over populated areas.

But Roscosmos said it is sure that all fuel will burn on re-entry some 100 kilometers (330,000 feet) above the ground and pose no danger. It said that 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of Cobalt-57, a contained in one of the craft's instruments, will not pose a threat of .

The Phobos-Ground was Russia's first interplanetary mission since a botched 1996 robotic mission to Mars, which failed when the probe crashed shortly after the launch due to an . Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, and the latest spacecraft aimed to take ground samples on Phobos.

It was one of the most challenging unmanned interplanetary mission ever. Scientists had hoped that studies of Phobos' surface could help solve the mystery of its origin and shed more light on the genesis of the solar system. Some believe the crater-dented moon is an asteroid captured by Mars' gravity, while others think it's a piece of debris from when collided with another celestial object.

The failed mission was the latest in a series of recent Russian launch failures that have raised concerns about the condition of the country's space industries. Officials have blamed the failures on obsolete equipment and an aging workforce.

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Russia Mars probe may fall to Earth in January

Nov 14, 2011

A Russian probe that was to visit a moon of Mars but is stuck in orbit around the Earth could burn up in the Earth's atmosphere in January, the head of the Russian space agency said Monday.

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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.

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User comments : 44

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SleepTech
3.3 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2011
In an alternate universe somewhere this article reads "Phobos well on it's way!" but unfortunately we live in the universe where Russia sucks.
omatumr
1 / 5 (10) Dec 16, 2011
Thanks for the message.

Will Russian space scientists be allowed to travel abroad after the Mars probe crashes back to Earth?

www.physorg.com/n...ign.html

Any news from NASA or PhysOrg.com yet about Comet Lovejoy's incredible survival last night after hitting the Sun?

www.powned.tv/nie..._me.html

Are we waiting for "spin doctors" to make the observation compatible with the standard solar model?

http://translate...._me.html

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

Nanobanano
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2011
Between 20 and 30 fragments of the probe with a total weight of up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds) will survive the fiery plunge and shower the Earth's surface, Roscosmos warned in a statement.


Never fear.

You, or your family "may" be compensated if one of these fragments happens to kill or maim you...
Pirouette
1.2 / 5 (6) Dec 16, 2011
So there is a 16 day window for reentry of the probe over any part of a wide swath of populated land areas? I can almost see the lawsuits happening after houses are destroyed and people injured or killed if it does indeed hit a populated area. No time to build an underground bunker deep enough to avoid it even if the approximate date, time and location of impact were known.
With a little bit of luck it will hit the government palace in Beijing.
Pirouette
1 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2011
So there is a 16 day window for reentry of the probe over any part of a wide swath of populated land areas? I can almost see the lawsuits happening after houses are destroyed and people injured or killed if it does indeed hit a populated area. No time to build an underground bunker deep enough to avoid the pieces even if the approximate date, time and location of impact were known.
With a little bit of luck it will hit the government palace in Beijing.
Nanobanano
3.8 / 5 (6) Dec 16, 2011
With a little bit of luck it will hit the government palace in Beijing.


Nice joke, but that would probably start WWIII.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2011
To date no satellite has ever crashed in a densely populated area. Now, this doesn't mean that it's impossible - but since there have been quite a few sats that have come down partially intact in the past it would indicate that the possibility of some dramatic event in conjunction with such a crash is low.

So befory starting to be scared about this you should be scared about a lot of other things that are vastly more probable (e.g. an airliner crashing into your house)
Vendicar_Decarian
2.6 / 5 (7) Dec 16, 2011
Tard Boy Blather follows.

"No time to build an underground bunker deep enough to avoid the pieces even if the approximate date, time and location of impact were known." - Spirochete
Royale
4 / 5 (8) Dec 16, 2011
I think it would be absolutely fantastic if a piece falls right out of the sky, flops straight down into Iranian airspace, and lands directly on our Predator drone. Totally happening out of chance, but scaring the shit out of every country on earth. =)
Vendicar_Decarian
2.2 / 5 (10) Dec 16, 2011
Why? You lost it fair and square. The Iranians plucked it out of the sky with skill.

It is their air space isn't it?
You were violating it weren't you?
You are involved in ongoing acts of war against Iran aren't you?
You are involved in murdering Iranian scientists aren't you?

"I think it would be absolutely fantastic if a piece falls right out of the sky, flops straight down into Iranian airspace, and lands directly on our Predator drone" - Royal
Nanobanano
2.5 / 5 (11) Dec 16, 2011
Vendy:

The U.S. does not conduct political assassinations.

If we did, Ghadaffi would have been dead years ago, and Saddam would have been dead on the first day of the operation Shock and Awe.

In fact, we need to change that policy for sure, and adopt a policy of killing rogue leaders first.

After all, that's how the U.S. won the American Revolution, right: Target senior officers first.

Unfortunately, politial correctness means we end up killing the mis-informed cronies and leaving the evil dictators in power.

There would be a LOT less civilian casualties, and certainly a LOT less INNOCENT civilian casualties, if we assassinated "presidents" and "parliaments" or just bombed their capital building, instead of conducting full scale operations.

It's ironic that "Starcraft" style Total War tactics may actually produce fewer innocent casualties than the PC bullshit our military does right now...
Nanobanano
2.3 / 5 (10) Dec 16, 2011
I mean, no warning. What the hell is this?

"Hey Saddam, in 3 days we're invading...get ready now..."

What the hell is that?

Send a stealth bomber on a day when the entire government is in session, to every Federal and Regional district building, and kill them all with one fricken bomb, the whole lot of them. Job done.

No man hunt.

No invasion to get innocent people on both sides killed.

No prolonged occupation to "rebuild" a nation.

If you decapitate the dragon, it's claws won't help him much, eh.

That's the strategy I'd use in Iran if we end up in a "real" war with them.

No ground troops at all. Just use Stealth Bombers and UAVs, and Target government buildings first: Presidents, parliament, the aitollah(sp). They are the real problem, not the people so much, I guess...
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (57) Dec 16, 2011
The U.S. does not conduct political assassinations.


Shut the fuck up, stupid.

http://en.wikiped..._Lumumba

PATRICE LAMUMBA

"Patrice Émery Lumumba (2 July 1925 17 January 1961) was a Congolese independence leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium in June 1960. Only twelve weeks later, Lumumba's government was deposed in a coup during the Congo Crisis. He was subsequently imprisoned and executed by firing squad, an act that was committed with the assistance of the government of the United States and for which the Belgian government officially apologized in 2002."

"He was subsequently imprisoned and executed by firing squad, an act that was committed with the assistance of the government of the United States"
"an act that was committed with the assistance of the government of the United States"
"assistance of the government of the United States"
"United States"
Nanobanano
2.8 / 5 (9) Dec 16, 2011
FrankHebert:

1, I wasn't even alive then, and that has pretty much nothing to do with anyone in our government today.

2, "democracy" isn't some magic word making anything "right". Some pretty villainous people are elected democratically all the time. Saddam was, and he gased his own people. Hitler was as well.

Pirouette
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2011
With a little bit of luck it will hit the government palace in Beijing.


Nice joke, but that would probably start WWIII.


Nano. . .do you mean a war between Russia and China? I don't think a piece of a Russian probe falling on a building in Beijing would do that. However, I could be wrong and the Reds might need any excuse to try out their nuclear warheads. Do you remember that old movie from the 1950s called "On The Beach" starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner? Good movie, wasn't it? The crux of the story was a nuclear war between Russia and China and the effect it had on the rest of the world.
kaasinees
2.9 / 5 (8) Dec 16, 2011
There would be a LOT less civilian casualties, and certainly a LOT less INNOCENT civilian casualties, if we assassinated "presidents" and "parliaments" or just bombed their capital building, instead of conducting full scale operations.


Good thinking: kill the other governments because they do not agree with us and we are saints that look out for the good of the people. We will bring democracy and banking to foreign countries even if the people or government doesn't want it. And our military camps will stay there to protect the country.

/sarcasm
Pirouette
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2011
I mean, no warning. What the hell is this?

"Hey Saddam, in 3 days we're invading...get ready now..."

What the hell is that?

Send a stealth bomber on a day when the entire government is in session, to every Federal and Regional district building, and kill them all with one fricken bomb, the whole lot of them. Job done.

No man hunt.

No invasion to get innocent people on both sides killed.

No prolonged occupation to "rebuild" a nation.

If you decapitate the dragon, it's claws won't help him much, eh.

That's the strategy I'd use in Iran if we end up in a "real" war with them.

No ground troops at all. Just use Stealth Bombers and UAVs, and Target government buildings first: Presidents, parliament, the aitollah(sp). They are the real problem, not the people so much, I guess...


@Nano. . .I agree with that. . . .a clean "surgical execution" of the tyrannical despots is all it takes, and the crowds can go home and then elect a sane leader. It makes sense. . .but you're right.
Pirouette
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 16, 2011
The PC mob will fight it because they LIKE tyranny in other countries, while pretending there is also tyranny at home. Oh OK. . .Obama is a bit tyrannical. . .but he's OK with the Liberals anyway. We need to ship Obama off to Canada so Vendinut can enjoy his company.
Pirouette
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2011
Nano. . . .at what velocity would an incoming piece of probe from low earth orbit to the Earth's surface, specifically striking the roof of the Chinese palace of Hu Jintao, be?
figuring into it the braking effect of the atmosphere, of course.
Pirouette
1 / 5 (4) Dec 16, 2011
There would be a LOT less civilian casualties, and certainly a LOT less INNOCENT civilian casualties, if we assassinated "presidents" and "parliaments" or just bombed their capital building, instead of conducting full scale operations.


Good thinking: kill the other governments because they do not agree with us and we are saints that look out for the good of the people. We will bring democracy and banking to foreign countries even if the people or government doesn't want it. And our military camps will stay there to protect the country.

/sarcasm

@kaasinees. . . .forget the banking and democracy. . . .that's up to the country's people to decide if they want that. . . . .the U.S. doesn't FORCE democracy and banking on anybody. Look at Fallujah in Iraq. . .those Sunnis are happy our troops are leaving. The people in that city obviously don't want democracy or they would kick those Sunni buggers out.
Pirouette
1.4 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2011
I predict another war between Iraq and Iran with the Russians helping Iran. The U.S. will be invited to come back to Iraq by the Iraqi gov't to save their asses and we will just have to say no.
SteveL
4 / 5 (4) Dec 16, 2011
It's ironic that "Starcraft" style Total War tactics may actually produce fewer innocent casualties than the PC bullshit our military does right now...
Actually a leaderless country would be very destabilizing. Many, many lives would be lost in the following upheaval. A country with no law would be exactly that lawless.. Think Somalia, Uganda and Sudan. Be careful what you wish for.
kaasinees
2.2 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2011
@kaasinees. . . .forget the banking and democracy. . . .that's up to the country's people to decide if they want that. . . . .the U.S. doesn't FORCE democracy and banking on anybody. Look at Fallujah in Iraq. . .those Sunnis are happy our troops are leaving. The people in that city obviously don't want democracy or they would kick those Sunni buggers out.


Yeah give me proof that they are all gone. The man himself said 8 thousand soldiers remain there. Even in my country where the "wars" are long over, USS military camps remain. I really want them here cause it makes me feel safe *sarcasm*.
nononoplease
1 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2011
We could leave if children like your people were capable of not killing themselves.
Pirouette
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 16, 2011
It's ironic that "Starcraft" style Total War tactics may actually produce fewer innocent casualties than the PC bullshit our military does right now...
Actually a leaderless country would be very destabilizing. Many, many lives would be lost in the following upheaval. A country with no law would be exactly that lawless.. Think Somalia, Uganda and Sudan. Be careful what you wish for.

Libya was a leaderless country for awhile, but they seem to have calmed down and becoming democratized, and if their new leader(s) prove to be tyrannical like Gaddafy, I think that the people will overthrow that one also. Mubarak is gone and Egypt is still finding its sea legs, but they too, will get down to electing a good leader. Country after country is recognizing that they can buck the system and get rid of the old one. So there is hope, after all.
Pirouette
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 16, 2011
@kaasinees. . . .forget the banking and democracy. . . .that's up to the country's people to decide if they want that. . . . .the U.S. doesn't FORCE democracy and banking on anybody. Look at Fallujah in Iraq. . .those Sunnis are happy our troops are leaving. The people in that city obviously don't want democracy or they would kick those Sunni buggers out.


Yeah give me proof that they are all gone. The man himself said 8 thousand soldiers remain there. Even in my country where the "wars" are long over, USS military camps remain. I really want them here cause it makes me feel safe *sarcasm*.


We're keeping some military in Iraq to secure the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Our military has left an awful lot of equipment in Iraq for the Iraqi troops to use. The rest like planes, tanks, etc. are being shipped back home. The Iraqi people are basically on their own now. Good luck to them.

Vendicar_Decarian
3.1 / 5 (7) Dec 16, 2011
"The U.S. does not conduct political assassinations." - Nano

Binladen

Anwar al-Awlaki

Presidential assassinations of U.S. citizens

http://www.salon....yemen_3/

Arrest and assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem

http://en.wikiped...inh_Diem

Bush Gives Green Light to CIA
for Assassination of Named Terrorists

http://www.serend...gow1.htm
Vendicar_Decarian
3.3 / 5 (7) Dec 16, 2011
"Saddam was, and he gased his own people." - nano

Saddam was placed in power by the CIA.

Ronald Reagan spend a considerable amount of his presidency praising and assisting Saddam.
Pirouette
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 16, 2011
I'm sure the CIA realized their mistake. . .but no matter who put Saddam in power or why, he needed to be deposed for his crimes against humanity. Governments make mistakes sometimes, and then have to rectify those before things get worse. Saddam, Gaddafy, Idi Amin, bin Laden, Hitler, etc. etc., all of them were murderers and the world was better off to be rid of them.
Whether the U.S. does the job or the people of these countries do it, the tyrants will lose eventually.
Grizzled
5 / 5 (1) Dec 16, 2011
In an alternate universe somewhere this article reads "Phobos well on it's way!" but unfortunately we live in the universe where Russia sucks.

Phobos on its way?!? Ack! I very much hope not...or we would be in some VERY serious trouble :-)
Pirouette
1 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2011
Yeah. . .Phobos is on its way to land on someone's rooftop. Maybe Putin's?
SleepTech
5 / 5 (1) Dec 17, 2011
In an alternate universe somewhere this article reads "Phobos well on it's way!" but unfortunately we live in the universe where Russia sucks.

Phobos on its way?!? Ack! I very much hope not...or we would be in some VERY serious trouble :-)


Lol yes, I should have said "Phobos-Grunt". I don't think Phobos on it's way to us would've been what Russia had in mind for a sample return.
kochevnik
1.4 / 5 (5) Dec 17, 2011
Yeah. . .Phobos is on its way to land on someone's rooftop. Maybe Putin's?
But by then he probably will have fallen off it while trying to install those lethal solar panels.
I predict another war between Iraq and Iran with the Russians helping Iran. The U.S. will be invited to come back to Iraq by the Iraqi gov't to save their asses and we will just have to say no.
You wouldn't dare touch Iran. If Iranian intelligence really wanted to flood Iraq with weaponry that would turn your APCs into well-insulated BBQs, they could have done it long ago. Its clear theyre not doing that. Theyre smart enough to follow Napoleons advice not to interfere with an enemy in the process of destroying himself and stockpiling the new IED designs on their side of the border in case youre stupid enough to invade.
Skepticus
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 17, 2011
Congratulations, uber cybergenerals. You just proved all the peddled "laws" and "codes of civilized behaviors" are so much bullshit. 1 law for "us", another for "them", subjected to discarding and alterations at whim. Now everybody can justify assassinate everybody else if he can do it.
FrankHerbert
0.9 / 5 (51) Dec 17, 2011
But by then he probably will have fallen off it while trying to install those lethal solar panels.


LMAO I just got this image of Putin riding Phobos-Grunt into US airspace Slim Pickens style.

(with his shirt off)
Vendicar_Decarian
2.8 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2011
The trick is to define the law (anti-terrorism Israel, U.S. Stalen, PolPot, Bush, Reagan, etc.) so you can commit mass murder legally.

"Now everybody can justify assassinate everybody else if he can do it." - Skepticus
Pirouette
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2011
Hey . . .what does it matter anymore who did or will do to who. . . .WW3 is coming and we're all going to be toast anyway. Canada, the U.S., Europe, Asia are all targets for the Communist Chinese, Iran, and even Russia under Putin. The Communists will win. . . .and lose after we strike back. Vendicar and all the Liberals/Socialists will glow in the dark as much as normal people in the western countries. So, eat, drink, and be merry. . .for we'll all get nuked equally.
:)
Pirouette
1 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2011
Yeah. . .Phobos is on its way to land on someone's rooftop. Maybe Putin's?
But by then he probably will have fallen off it while trying to install those lethal solar panels.
I predict another war between Iraq and Iran with the Russians helping Iran. The U.S. will be invited to come back to Iraq by the Iraqi gov't to save their asses and we will just have to say no.
You wouldn't dare touch Iran. If Iranian intelligence really wanted to flood Iraq with weaponry that would turn your APCs into well-insulated BBQs, they could have done it long ago. Its clear theyre not doing that. Theyre smart enough to follow Napoleons advice not to interfere with an enemy in the process of destroying himself and stockpiling the new IED designs on their side of the border in case youre stupid enough to invade.


Ahhh. . Komrade Kochevnik, the Bolshevik. . . .
http://www.telegr...dar.html
Pirouette
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2011
Actually, there is NO NEED to invade Iran. Americans don't want to hurt or kill innocent Iranians. That's why we haven't invaded even after seeing the bad treatment that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard gave their own people. We LIKE the Iranian citizens and would like to help them get rid of their tyrants, like Ahmadinejad and Khameini. (sp), just as the Libyans got rid of their tyrant, Gaddafy. We're not worried about the drone, either. They can have it. We don't need it.
Blakut
not rated yet Dec 19, 2011
If it crashes into my back yard or something, i'll be rich! Cut it into smaller pieces and sell it for profit. 140% profit, to be exact...
bluehigh
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 19, 2011
The U.S. does not conduct political assassinations
- stupid person

Shut the fuck up, stupid.

Pirouette
3 / 5 (2) Dec 19, 2011
@ bluehigh. . . .you- know- who is getting very adept at using the "F" word in answer to someone else's comment. I noticed what he said about your family and what he said to Nano. What a very mentally disturbed person he is. And he still has not been thrown out of Physorg.
For shame, Physorg.
bluehigh
1 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2011
Nano can be annoyingly verbose but certainly does not deserve the continuing derision of the fool FrankH.

In fact Nano has made some interesting contributions lately and even seems to be developing a sense of humour.
bluehigh
1 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2011
Vendicar and all the Liberals/Socialists will glow in the dark ..
- Pirouette

Glow in the dark commies. Sounds rather entertaining. Can they dance too?

Can we use a pre-emptive defensive strike to reduce the 'equality' outcome? I like to dance but not sure about glowing in the dark!

President Reagan would sort it. We will begin bombing ...