Support The Moscow Times!

Fobos-Grunt Begins Breaking Apart

The stranded Russian space probe Fobos-Grunt has begun breaking up in low Earth orbit, foreign experts said Monday.

Monitors with the U.S. Army's Strategic Command detected at least two pieces of debris that are believed to have broken loose from the unmanned probe, Interfax reported.

The probe became stuck shortly after its Nov. 9 launch when it failed to respond to commands from the ground and begin a 2 1/2-year mission to the Martian moon of Phobos.

Repeated efforts to jump-start the stalled craft have failed, and the European Space Agency said Friday that it had abandoned efforts to contact the errant $170 million probe.

Federal Space Agency deputy head Vitaly Davydov said last month that if they were unable to get the spacecraft — which is laden with tons of toxic fuel — to continue to Mars, it would likely fall to Earth sometime between late December and late February.

Where the probe might crash is not yet clear.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more