Russia's Phobos-Grunt loses way en-route to Mars moon

In what could prove to be a dampener to Russia's ambitions of having a successful first interplanetary mission in about 20 years, a probe to Martian moon has reportedly run into trouble, states Reuters. Phobos-Grunt, an unmanned spacecraft had only just taken off from Russia's Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan, and within minutes lost direction. The Russian Space Agency, according to this report has cited engine failure to have caused the unfortunate turn of events, on Wednesday. Elaborating on it, the report states that just minutes after the launch, when Phobos reached the earth's orbit, the spacecraft's engine developed a failure when it had to fire off, further. Things seemed to have gone only downhill after that for Phobos. 


The Phobos-Grunt structure (Image credit:Russian Space Web)

The Phobos-Grunt structure (Image credit: Russian Space Web)




Phobos-Grunt, an unmanned spacecraft had been dispatched on a mission to Mars's moon to collect rock and dust samples from there. Now, the report further suggests that while the spacecraft is still stuck in the Earth's orbit, there is some time left in which the programming errors can be fixed, but, then again the fear of too little time at hand looms. 


If the Phobos-Grunt-led Mars mission fails in its run, then Russia's dreams of making it big in the outerspace missions will crash.

Published Date: Nov 09, 2011 04:38 pm | Updated Date: Nov 09, 2011 04:38 pm