Monday, January 16, 2012

Short Sharp Science - Doomed Phobos probe smashes into Pacific Ocean

Wendy Zukerman, reporter
AP111109013438.jpg (Image: PA)
Fragments of Russia's doomed Phobos-Grunt probe crashed into the Pacific Ocean last night.
The probe's mission was to return with samples from Mars's largest moon Phobos, but when its launch rocket machinery went awry on 8 November, Phobos-Grunt became marooned in Earth's orbit, destined to crash back home.
Fragments from the beleaguered probe were predicted to land in the Atlantic Ocean or possibly South America over the weekend.
Last night, Alexei Zolotukhin of Russia's defence ministry told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that Phobos-Grunt fragments had crashed in the Pacific Ocean, 1250 kilometres to the west of Wellington Island in southern Chile.

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