Russia again fails to make contact with Mars moon probe

Russia has again been again unsuccessful in its attempts to establish contact with its Phobos Grunt probe, whose engines failed to put in on course for Mars after take-off, a source in the space rocket industry told RIA Novosti on Saturday.

“Attempts to make contact were made overnight and this morning by Russian specialists from the European Space Agency. This was done from Baikonour and other tracking areas, but contact was not established,” the source said.

He also said Russia was being assisted by U.S. scientists and had until November 21 to make contact.

The craft, designed to bring back rock and soil samples from the Martian moon, Phobos, is currently stuck in a “support orbit.” It blasted off from the Baikonour Space Centre in Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

The Phobos-Grunt is also carrying China’s first Mars satellite, Yinghuo-1.


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