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From "Herald Sun" (do not know how much reliable can be):
"The space agency said on its website that fragments of the stranded Phobos-Grunt voyager would probably fall to Earth between 0341 AEDT and 0805 AEDT on Monday. But it cancelled its Saturday forecast of the debris splashing down in the Pacific off the western coast of Chile...Roscosmos predicts that only 20 or 30 segments weighing no more than 200kg in total will survive the explosive re-entry and actually hit the Earth's surface."
Curiously, here in Italy mass media ignored almost completely this event, perhaps due to coincidence of "Concordia" cruiser crash near "isola del Giglio"...
Greg Hullender
The feed James Canvin pointed us to is saying Phobos-Grunt will be down within minutes, if not already.

Can anyone confirm that?

Greg Hullender
Associated Press is reporting that Phobos-Grunt landed in the Pacific.

Based on russian sources, the spacecraft re-entered off Brazil at 17h59 UTC; the coordinates of the center point are -310.7 deg E (or 49.3 degW) and 18.2 degrees south latitude, with a wide band dispersion of fragments, told RIA Novosti source in the space industry.
Here's Spaceflight Now's spin on events.........

Ill-fated Mars probe reportedly falls to Earth
What looks to my untrained eyes as the most likely explanation of the P-G failure is at:

It's the front page story right now, but when something replaces it, look for the article titled "Plausible Scenario for the Phobos-Grunt Failure Emerges."
QUOTE (monitorlizard @ Jan 18 2012, 09:04 AM) *
What looks to my untrained eyes as the most likely explanation of the P-G failure is at:

Thanks for that. I look forward to a full analysis and details of what transpired after the brief contact and prior to the total shutdown.
Direct link, for when the article moves off the front page.
Off to the side in that article are three images of Phobos-Grunt in orbit; an artist rendering by Anatoly Zak, a photo taken by Thierry Legault, and a radar profile taken with the 49 meter TIRA radar in Germany (Fraunhofer FHR).

Vladimir Popovkin, head of Roscosmos, now says that cosmic radiation caused a low-quality part to fail in Phobos-Grunt, and that was the cause of the mission failure. This at least seems more plausible than the OTHER radiation they initially blamed. Also says the spacecraft's manufacturer will face "punishment".
I actually didn't read it as blaming anyone outside Russia. They're blaming whomever used a not rad-hard part, and it sounds like that someone's in Russia. If I poured Evian in my engine block, it wouldn't be an indictment of France if the engine blew up.

I would say that the level of blame being focused on just that issue, though, is scapegoating. There are clearly several fruitful branches on the fault tree. And the rush to promise that heads will roll isn't really mollifying, either.
All: it sucks that Phobos-Grunt is gone, and that it apparently never had a chance. And given the recent remarks of Russian officials, it's reasonable to suspect that there is some kind of scapegoating or whitewashing going on, and that this is an exceedingly rare situation where conspiracy theories such as those proposed above may have a little bit of merit. But none of this discussion is relevant to the narrow focus of this forum. And conspiracy theory discussions are explicitly banned by rule 1.9. There are several other forums where lively discussions about why Phobos-Grunt failed are taking place and will likely continue for some time, such as this one. But unless someone finds wreckage from the spacecraft, or unless a Phobos-Grunt 2 is actually being built, or unless someone publishes a paper about the planned Phobos-Grunt landing sites (which may happen, which is why I'm not closing this thread), we're probably done discussing Phobos-Grunt at It's over, and it produced no data or any deep-space adventure to discuss.
I would like to add just one more insighful article by James Oberg, analyzing potential technical reasons for the Phobos-Grunt loss.
Bill Harris
Perhaps it's best that the P-G did fail. It was foolish and risky to send active biological samples to Mars.

1. Please re-read Emily's comment above.
2. Sorry all, but unless something dramatic occurs, it's time to close this topic. Discussion over.
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