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November 12, 2011

Russian Mars Probe Stuck in Low Earth Orbit

After a successful liftoff on Tuesday, a massive probe named Phobos-Grunt was failed by its own engines. The russian mission was initiated to "retrieve samples from a Martian moon", and now it's trapped on its way.
The engines were scheduled to fire roughly three hours after blastoff, however, when it turned out that the probe didn't show up in the expected orbit, people found themselves in trouble.
Possibilities were analysed and now the only thing for sure is that the "$163 million mission" is now stuck somewhere in the low earth orbit.

Posted by wangrt at November 12, 2011 06:49 PM


In one way this is funny because they spent so much time and money on it but now it looks like it's going to be completely lost. On the other hand it stinks because the probe can't complete its mission and come back with the soil that could potentially help us learn a lot about the solar system.

Posted by: sjbar at November 15, 2011 02:23 PM

A classic example of shotty Russian worksmanship.

Posted by: derbach at November 18, 2011 01:19 PM

I find this a little ridiculous to believe. What I don't get is why the Russians did not know that the probe was going to make it. I wonder if the Russians are going to send another massive probe after wasting a 163 million dollars.

Posted by: aakashj at November 28, 2011 04:18 PM

That's unfortunate. Hopefully they can find a way to salvage the mission, or repurpose the probe.

Posted by: mgilbs at November 30, 2011 03:36 PM

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