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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Dec > Dec 10

Phobos-Soil Spacecraft Failure

From: Kathy Kasten <catraja.nul>
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 16:45:57 +0000
Archived: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 15:06:39 -0500
Subject: Phobos-Soil Spacecraft Failure

Dear List:

I just received this e-mail from the Planetary Society. It looks
like the loss of the spacecraft involved the Planetary Society's
LIFE capsule.


Dear Kathy Kasten,

Since you are a valued member of the Planetary Society team that
helped launch our Phobos LIFE experiment, I want to share with
you excerpts from a letter we just received from our colleagues
at the Space Research Institute (IKI) of the Russian Academy of

As you'll read, the Phobos-Grunt (Soil) spacecraft failed to
leave Earth orbit after it was launched last month, carrying our
LIFE capsule on what we hoped would be a round trip to Mars'
moon Phobos and back.

The letter came from Lev Zelenyi, Director of the Space Research
Institute. It reads:

“As you may already know, the launch of the Phobos-Soil
spacecraft was a failure. On November 8, 2011 the spacecraft was
put into the near Earth orbit, however, the booster did not turn
on, and, therefore, the spacecraft did not manage to change this
initial orbit and transfer to the interplanetary trajectory. The
reason of this failure has not been determined yet.

“Immediately after this unpredictable event all forces of the
mission control team were concentrated in order to attempt to
establish communication with the spacecraft. Several foreign
organizations, in particular, ESOC-ESA, DSN-JPL-NASA, NORAD-
STRATCOM, numerous amateur observers tracked the spacecraft to
establish communication with it and determine parameters of the
orbit, its orientation and attitude. However, despite people
being at work 24 / 7 since the launch, all these attempts have
not yield any satisfactory results. We are grateful to our
foreign colleagues, who provided us with every list of
information about the spacecraft which was crucial at the time.

“Currently, the spacecraft is rotating at the near Earth orbit,
lowering every day, and we expect that it is to enter the
atmosphere in several weeks. Lavochkin Association specialists
will continue their attempts to establish connection with the
spacecraft and send commands until the very end of its
existence. We are working nevertheless on the issue of re-entry
and probability of where and which f ragments may hit the ground
(if any).

“We would like to express our deep gratitude to you and all the
scientists and specialists for collaboration on the Phobos-Soil
Mission, preparation of scientific instruments and provision of
ground support. We are deeply sorry about the failure of the
Phobos-Soil Mission. We hope in future to continue our
collaboration on space science projects.”

The loss of Phobos LIFE is a blow, but we are already recovering
and looking forward to the future. We are even now analyzing the
microorganisms that flew with our Shuttle LIFE project on the
last flight of Endeavour, and we are seeking out future
exploratory opportunities to share with you.

With your invaluable help and support, we know that together we
will make our future in space vibrant, coming ever closer to our
shared goals of understanding and appreciating the worlds around

Thank you again for all your support.


Bruce Betts,
Phobos LIFE Project Manager



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