Mars probe to crash to Earth

2011-12-16 14:46
Moscow - A Russian spacecraft bound for a moon of Mars and stuck in Earth's orbit will come crashing back next month, but its toxic fuel and radioactive material on board will pose no danger of contamination, the Russian space agency said on Friday.

Between 20 and 30 fragments of the probe with a total weight of up to 200kg will survive the fiery plunge and shower the Earth's surface, Roscosmos warned in a statement.

The agency said the unmanned Phobos-Ground spacecraft will plummet to Earth between January 6 - 19, and the rough area of where the fragments could fall could only be calculated a few days ahead of its plunge.

While the agency had lost contact with the probe following its launch on November 9, this was the first time they acknowledged that the $170m craft has been lost and will come crashing down.

Since its November launch the engineers in Russia and at the European Space Agency have attempted unsuccessfully to propel it away from Earths orbit and toward its target.

Phobos-Ground weighs 14.6 tons, which includes 12 tons of highly toxic fuel. Experts had warned that if the fuel has frozen, some could survive entry into Earth and pose a serious threat if it falls over populated areas.

But Roscosmos said it is sure that all fuel will burn on re-entry some 100km above the ground and pose no danger.

It said that 10kg of Cobalt-57, a radioactive metal contained in one of the craft's instruments, will not pose a threat of radioactive contamination.

The failed mission was the latest in a series of recent Russian launch failures that have raised concerns about the condition of the country's space industries.
- AP
Read more on:    roscosmos  |  russia  |  space
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Analyst Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd

Engineering Manager

Western Cape
Pro-Tech Recruitment
R850 000 - R1 100 000 Per Year

Mobile Marketing Manager

Western Cape
Recruit Digital
R15 000 - R22 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 1 900 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Durbanville

Houses R 2 400 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.