Russian Official Suggests Weapon Caused Exploration Spacecraft’s Failure

seruriermarshal

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Published: January 10, 2012 MOSCOW — A Russian scientific spacecraft whizzing out of control around the Earth, and expected to re-enter the atmosphere on Saturday, may have failed because it was struck by some type of antisatellite weapon, the director of Russia’s space agency said in an interview published Tuesday.

He did not say who would want to interfere with the spacecraft, which was intended to explore a moon of Mars.
The Russian craft, named Phobos-Grunt for the moon and the Russian word for ground, ran into trouble soon after it was launched in November, when its rockets failed to lift it out of low Earth orbit. What was to have been a two-and-a-half-year interplanetary journey to retrieve a soil sample from Phobos will instead end over the weekend, according to Russian engineers.
When the 13-ton Phobos-Grunt breaks up in the atmosphere, debris could potentially fall anywhere along a vast stretch of the Earth’s surface that includes the cities of New York, London and Tokyo. Though the odds are heavily against the debris causing any harm, the spectacle of people around the world anticipating the crash is another embarrassment for Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, which has presided over a series of rocket and satellite failures this year.
A statement from the United States Strategic Command acknowledged that it was tracking the space probe and that it is likely to fall in the next week. “Predictions of re-entry date, time and location can change significantly due to many changing factors, such as solar weather and orientation of the spacecraft,” the statement said. “These predictions become more accurate as the event approaches.”
When Phobos-Grunt first went awry, the director of the Russian space agency, Vladimir Popovkin, said that a flawed navigational computer might be to blame.
NASA officials said that they helped Roscosmos, using NASA’s antennas known as the Deep Space Network, to try to re-establish contact with Phobos-Grunt, and that NASA had continued these efforts until the antennas were needed for the launch of its Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft on Nov. 26.
Mr. Popovkin’s remarks to the newspaper Izvestia were the first high-level suggestion of nefarious interference. A retired commander of Russia’s missile warning system had speculated in November that strong radar signals from installations in Alaska might have damaged the spacecraft.
“We don’t want to accuse anybody, but there are very powerful devices that can influence spacecraft now,” Mr. Popovkin said in the interview. “The possibility they were used cannot be ruled out.”
Mr. Popovkin also suggested that equipment on the spacecraft may have broken down while the vehicle was stored on the ground, waiting for the time when Earth and Mars would be in the right places in their orbits for the mission to proceed, something that happens only every two years. “If we had not sent it to Mars in 2011, we would have had to throw it away,” he said of the craft.
The interview came at a time of rising anti-Americanism in Russian politics, and may have been intended mostly for a domestic audience. Russian officials often drop hints of foreign meddling, for example in stirring the recent street protests in Moscow; such comments are usually taken to mean the United States.
Mr. Popovkin’s remarks stood out in stark contrast to the cooperative spirit of recent Russian civilian space endeavors carried out in partnership with NASA, the European Space Agency and other foreign partners. Though Russia maintains a military wing of its space program, confrontation and even competition with the United States in space largely vanished with the end of the cold war.
The two powers called the space race a tie and agreed to build the International Space Station together; now that the American space shuttles are retired, NASA astronauts fly to the station aboard Russian rockets.
Mr. Popovkin did not directly implicate the United States in the interview. But he said “the frequent failure of our space launches, which occur at a time when they are flying over the part of Earth not visible from Russia, where we do not see the spacecraft and do not receive telemetric information, are not clear to us,” an apparent reference to the Americas.
Russia has not succeeded in sending a spacecraft to Mars since the 1980s. An attempt in 1996 to launch a Mars lander that could burrow below the planet’s surface failed because of a flaw in the rocket that carried it.
Phobos-Grunt, which took about five years to build and cost $160 million at current exchange rates, was launched from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan on Nov. 9; it also carried a small Chinese Mars orbiter.
Kenneth Chang contributed reporting from New York.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/science/space/russian-official-suggests-weapon-caused-spacecraft-failure.html
 

seruriermarshal

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Russia Blames Outside Meddling for Space Failures, Izvestia Says

By Henry Meyer - Jan 10, 2012 7:42 PM GMT+0800

Russian space chief Vladimir Popovkin said outside interference may be to blame for a series of mission failures, including the loss of a Mars-bound probe, Izvestia reported.

“I don’t want to blame anyone, but today there are powerful means to affect the trajectory of spacecraft, and we can’t exclude that these have been deployed,” Popovkin, head of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, was quoted as saying by the Moscow-based newspaper.

Russia, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of manned space flight in April, has experienced setbacks including the failure in November by the Phobos probe to Mars. In August, it lost its most powerful telecommunications satellite and a cargo- supply ship destined for the International Space Station. The $163 million Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, which got stuck in low- Earth orbit, may crash on Jan. 15, Roscosmos said last week.

While Phobos was an almost entirely new model and carried a higher risk of malfunction, the two earlier failures stemmed from “simple shoddiness,” Popovkin said in a Nov. 22 interview. Prosecutors blame human error for the two failed space launches, concluding that both incidents happened because of the carelessness of space-industry workers.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-10/russia-blames-outside-meddling-for-space-failures-izvestia-says.html
 

Michel Van

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Wat a Rank nonsense story!

let face it, Phobos-Grunt was doomed from the begin in year 1999
underfunded with total of 137~189 Million US$ (Different Source) NASA pay 300 Million US$ for Mars Orbiter

during 12 year of Phobos-Grunt were several mistake made, so say Vladimir Popovkin, the head of Roscosmos:

It took too long to build the spacecraft, he said, and the life span of many parts was about to expire. The project officially began in 1999.
also
"We were hostages to previously made decisions, we had commitments to the European Space Agancy, which provided equipment, and to our Chinese colleagues as we undertook the task of delivering their satellite to Mars onboard Phobos-Grunt,"
source: http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Russia_was_well_aware_of_Phobos_Grunt_mission_risks_999.html

for more detail got to http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt.html
 

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Put your seatbelts on lads, it's 1982 again! HAARP is a scary space weapon and everything that goes wrong is down to foreign meddling!


Im off to price up a nice ex-NATO bunker somewhere and stock up on canned goods.
 

Grey Havoc

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When the axe is about to start it's swing towards your neck, one tends to get innovative in the search for scapegoats.
 

flateric

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that's the strangest thing - Popovkin, ex-procurement czar at MoD, was always one of the most reasonable person I ever seen at top ranked positions here
.3f4d2639d4114bb755654329bb4d7d90.jpg

after he replaced Perminov at Roskosmos, he went nuts - hired ex-top model with silicone brains as his press-secretary - and girl admits he knows hell nothing of space! (well, who of us can blame him for that)
gNyHLpYd.jpg



and, whatever - not so much time he spent at new position to be blamed for situation that was accumulated by years of , predecessors mistakes! and now he goes and says of evil forces affecting Russian satellites...obviously, Souyz and Meridian were shoot by HAARP over Siberia...WTF
 

flanker

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flateric said:
that's the strangest thing - Popovkin, ex-procurement czar at MoD, was always one of the most reasonable person I ever seen at top ranked positions here

I don't know, calling T-90 an upgraded T-34 doesn't sound reasonable to me.
 

flateric

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other dolboebs are even worse, you should admit that. at least he wanted to buy 60 T-50s
 

Grey Havoc

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120114-space-phobos-215p.grid-6x2.jpg

An artist's conception shows the breakup of the Phobos-Grunt probe during the final phases of its atmospheric re-entry.
IMAGE CREDIT: Michael Carroll/Space.com/msnbc.com​



120114-space-trajectory-215p.grid-6x2.jpg

A graphic from Russia's space agency shows the trajectory of the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft during what are expected to be its final orbits. The red point on the line indicates the agency's projected re-entry point, in the Pacific near the tip of South America, but the uncertainties about the descent are so great that it's impossible to say in advance exactly where the probe will fall.
IMAGE CREDIT: Roscosmos​


phobos-grunt-28-dec-2011-lg.jpg

IMAGE CREDIT: Spacedaily.com​



final-architecture-phobos-grunt-spacecraft-lg.jpg

Orbit data for Phobos-Grunt are provided mainly by the US Space Surveillance Network and the Russian Space Surveillance System.
IMAGE CREDIT: Spacedaily.com​

 

Grey Havoc

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Doomed Russia Mars probe eyes fiery crash (Spacedaily.com)

Russia's space agency on Sunday called off all predictions of the likely crash site of its ill-fated Mars probe only hours before the 13.5-tonne spacecraft was due to begin its fatal descent.

Roscosmos said on its website that fragments of the stranded Phobos-Grunt voyager would probably fall to Earth on Sunday between 1436 GMT and 2224 GMT.

But it cancelled its Saturday forecast of the debris splashing down in the Pacific off the western coast of Chile. Two earlier updates had the fragments falling into the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

"The operations support group is keeping continuous watch of the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft's descent from orbit," the brief Roscosmos statement said.

_57893180_pg_map_464.gif


IMAGE CREDIT: BBC News/ ROSCOSMOS​


  • Phobos-Grunt sits on the cruise stage that was supposed to take it to Mars. Attached also is Yinghuo-1, China's first satellite built to go to the Red Planet

  • Most of this 2.5 tonnes of hardware will burn up in the atmosphere. The more-than-10-tonnes of fuel is expected to explode when the tanks rupture
  • Phobos-Grunt's orbit around the Earth means that it can only enter the atmosphere between the latitudes of 51.4 degrees North and South
  • Roughly one old satellite or rocket body will fall to Earth every week, but at 13 tonnes Phobos-Grunt is one of the biggest, uncontrolled falls in recent years

BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16491457
 

Grey Havoc

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Failed Russian Mars Probe Crashes Into Pacific Ocean: Reports (Space.com)

A failed Russian Mars probe came crashing back to Earth Sunday (Jan. 15) in a death plunge over the Pacific Ocean, according to Russian news reports.

After languishing in Earth orbit for more than two months, the 14.5-ton Phobos-Grunt spacecraft fell at around 12:45 p.m. EST (1745 GMT) Sunday, apparently slamming into the atmosphere over an empty stretch of the Pacific, Russian officials told the Ria Novosti news agency.

"Phobos-Grunt fragments have crashed down in the Pacific Ocean," Alexei Zolotukhin, an official with Russia's Defense Ministry, was quoted by Ria Novosti as saying. Zolotukhin said that the spacecraft crashed about 776 miles (1,250 kilometers) west of the island of Wellington, the news agency reported.

Before the crash, Russia's Federal Space Agency, known as Roscosmos, released a map that estimated a potential crash zone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean sometime between 12:50 p.m. and 1:34 p.m. EST (1750-1834 GMT) on Sunday.

The huge probe likely broke apart as it re-entered, with the vast majority of the pieces burning up in the atmosphere, but some big componets were expected to survive the fiery fall. At the moment, it's not clear how many chunks of Phobos-Grunt survived, or exactly where this hail of hardy debris touched down.
 

flateric

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RIP, unsung heroes of space exploration



 

Michel Van

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There is a explanation what happened with Phobos-Grunt

A plausible scenario for quick demise of Phobos-Grunt leaked from industry sources to the online forum of the Novosti Kosmonavtiki magazine on January 17.

The most likely culprit in the failure of the probe's propulsion unit to ignite soon after it had entered orbit on November 9 was a programming error in the flight control system. Post-failure tests (apparently simulating in-flight conditions) revealed that the processor usage level in the main flight control computer onboard the spacecraft exceeded 90 percent of its capacity. It could easily lead to crashes and rebooting as more systems were being activated after the spacecraft had left the range of Russian ground control stations after reaching orbit. Among those systems were star trackers (used for attitude control in the shadow of the Earth) and a Chinese satellite. In the meantime, the power supply system onboard the spacecraft worked flawlessly.

Following the initial failure, as ground controllers apparently succeeded in activating the X-band transmitter onboard the spacecraft, new problems arose. The device would transmit a signal with a power of around 40 watts, however its own operation would consume around 200 watts. The deactivation of the transmitter was not taking place when the spacecraft was flying in the shadow of the Earth for prolonged periods of time. As a result, the probe slowly drained its recharable power batteries and then its emergency power source, known as KhIT, leading to a complete failure of all onboard systems on November 28, 2011.

Source:
the online forum of the Novosti Kosmonavtiki magazine
via
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/phobos_grunt_reentry.html#1_17
 

Grey Havoc

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Demon Lord Razgriz said:
Flateric, could you take down those pics or put them as links? They creep me out extremely... ><

But, you are a Demon Lord! ;D
 

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