Derelict Russian Space Probe ‘Phobos-Grunt’ Crashes to Earth
An artist’s conception shows the breakup of the Phobos-Grunt probe during the final phases of its atmospheric re-entry.
Military spokesman reports Phobos-Grunt re-entry over Pacific Ocean
AP MOSCOW — A failed probe that was designed to travel to a moon of Mars but got stuck in Earth orbit has crashed into the Pacific Ocean, Russian officials said Sunday. The unmanned Phobos-Grunt probe was one of the heaviest and most toxic space derelicts ever to crash to Earth, but there were no reports of injury or damage. There’s a good chance that no one actually saw the spacecraft’s fiery plunge.
“Phobos-Grunt fragments have crashed down in the Pacific Ocean,” the RIA-Novosti news service quoted Alexei Zolotukhin, a spokesman for Russia’s aerospace defense forces, as saying. The debris zone was said to be 775 miles (1,250 kilometers) west of Wellington Island in the South Pacific. Re-entry was estimated to occur at about 12:45 p.m. ET, based on the data received by the Russia.
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