Russia says its spacecraft may crash into Atlantic

January 13, 2012
Russia says its spacecraft may crash into Atlantic (AP)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 file photo, the Zenit-2SB rocket with the Phobos-Ground probe blasts off from its launch pad at the Cosmodrome Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Some of the recent failures of Russian spacecraft may have been caused by hostile interference, Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin said. Popovkin made the comment when asked about the failure of the unmanned Phobos-Ground probe, which was to explore one of the Mars twin moons, Phobos, but became stranded while orbiting Earth after its Nov. 9 launch. The spacecraft is expected to fall to Earth around Jan. 15. ( (AP Photo/File)

(AP) -- Russia's space agency has adjusted its forecast for the crash of a failed spacecraft, saying it may shower its fragments into the south Atlantic.

Roscosmos said the unmanned Phobos-Ground probe could plummet to Earth Sunday or Monday anywhere along a broad swath between 51.4 degrees north and 51.4 degrees south.

It said Friday that the mid-point in the two-day window would have the craft crashing into the ocean about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the coast of Chubut province in southern Argentina. It said the precise time and place of the uncontrolled plunge can only be clarified later as the probe draws closer to Earth.

At 13.2 metric tons (14.6 tons), the Phobos-Ground is one of the heaviest pieces of ever to plummet to Earth, with highly toxic fuel accounting for the bulk of its weight.

Explore further: Russians desperately try to save Mars moon probe (Update)


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