US may be behind Mars probe failure: Russia

January 17, 2012
The Phobos-Grunt space probe being fitted to a delivery rocket. Russia said the failure of its Phobos-Grunt probe for Mars could have been caused by radiation from US radars, in its latest allegation of Western interference in its space programme.

Russia on Tuesday said the failure of its Phobos-Grunt probe for Mars could have been caused by radiation from US radars, in its latest allegation of Western interference in its space programme.

"There is such a theory," Yury Koptev the head of the scientific committee of state technology company Russian Technologies told the RIA-Novosti news agency.

"To test (the theory), an equipment block similar to the one on Phobos-Grunt will be exposed to radiation from the possible unintentional exposure to American radars," said Koptev, a former head of .

Roscosmos is currently looking into the possible causes of its latest major mishap, after the probe, which was launched in November, met an inglorious end Sunday when it crashed back into Earth over the Pacific Ocean.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday that most of the agency's failures were aftershocks following the industry's dark period of the 1990s, when poor funding could have led to production of faulty equipment.

"If we confirm the fact of a foreign influence on our space equipment over the part of Earth we cannot see, we will come to different conclusions," he told Interfax in apparent reference to the West.

Roscosmos mentioned the possibility of foreign interference last week when the current agency chief Vladimir Popovkin openly asked why its failures often occurred when craft were over the western hemisphere.

"I do not want to blame anyone, but today there are some very powerful countermeasures that can be used against spacecraft whose use we cannot exclude," he told the Izvestia daily on January 10.

Phobos-Grunt was one of the more high-profile mishaps costing $165 million and carrying also a it was supposed to release in the Mars orbit.

It struck less than three months after an unmanned Progress supply ship bound for the crashed into Siberia.

Russia also lost three as well as an advanced military satellite and a telecommunications satellite in the past year.

Explore further: Russia Mars probe considered lost: report

Related Stories

Russia Mars probe considered lost: report

November 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.

Russian satellite hits Siberia's 'Cosmonaut Street'

December 24, 2011

A fragment of a Russian satellite that crashed into Siberia in the latest setback for Russia's space programme hit a residential house on a street named after cosmonauts, officials said Saturday.

Mars probe to crash into ocean Sunday: Russia

January 11, 2012

Russia's space agency on Wednesday pinpointed the likely trajectory of its stranded Mars probe, Phobos-Grunt, predicting it would crash into the Indian Ocean west of Jakarta later this week.

Russian Mars probe meets inglorious end in Pacific

January 16, 2012

Russia vowed Monday to expose the officials responsible for the failure of a Mars probe that the military said crashed into the Pacific Ocean after orbiting the Earth for more than two months.

Recommended for you

First stars formed even later than previously thought

August 31, 2016

ESA's Planck satellite has revealed that the first stars in the Universe started forming later than previous observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background indicated. This new analysis also shows that these stars were the ...

Dawn sets course for higher orbit

August 31, 2016

After studying Ceres for more than eight months from its low-altitude science orbit, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will move higher up for different views of the dwarf planet.

Galaxy cluster discovered at record-breaking distance

August 31, 2016

A new record for the most distant galaxy cluster has been set using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. This galaxy cluster may have been caught right after birth, a brief, but important stage of evolution ...

The rise and fall of galaxy formation

August 30, 2016

An international team of astronomers, including Carnegie's Eric Persson, has charted the rise and fall of galaxies over 90 percent of cosmic history. Their work, which includes some of the most sensitive astronomical measurements ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rawa1
5 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2012
It's always easier to cover incompetence with accusation of some hidden/external enemy. On the graphs bellow are comparison of success rate of USA and Russian spaceprobes of Mars.

http://www.aether...tory.gif http://www.aether...ory1.gif

In the light of these statistics the poor Phobos-Ground probe had only 16% chance of success. The recent failure of four space-probes in the single line indicates clearly, where the real problem or Russian space technologies is.

Considering the sort of security lapses that allowed a Russian woman to sneak into a Russian rocket facility and take dozens of photos http://lana-sator...176.html - perhaps they should look internally for the source of their problems.
NotAsleep
5 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2012
If the US has ground based radar that is both strong and accurate enough to knock a rocket out of the sky without getting noticed then we've got bigger secrets under cover...
Deathclock
4.5 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2012
we've got bigger secrets under cover...


This is pretty much guaranteed.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.