Russia Struggles to Save Spacecraft to Mars

November 11th, 2011   chrisnado   Technology

Russian Federal Space Agency, until Wednesday night, was still struggling to control back Phobos-Ground spacecraft, which previously planned in half-way to Phobos, one from two natural satellite of Mars.

The spacecraft was success to be launched by Zenit-2 rocket booster from Baikonur Cosmodrome Launching Site in Kazakhstan, Wednesday, after midnight, Moskwa time.

The spacecraft released itself from booster eleven minutes later, and supposed to turn on its own booster twice to throw it into Mars route line. But it didn’t happen and the spacecraft is trapped in Earth orbit.

Russia Struggles to Save Spacecraft to Mars

Russia once got difficulties in controlling the spacecraft because of their limited communication network from Earth to spacecraft position in the orbit.

They asked help from countries in South America to track the existence of 13.2 tons craft visually. The amateur astronomers who firstly found the craft existence in the orbit.

Chief of Russian Federal Space Agency, Vladimir Popovkin said, the earth technician has three days to reset Phobos-Ground computer program and try to re-launch it back into Mars before its emergency battery off.

Popovkin said, after the battery off, the spacecraft would be able to orbit the earth until two weeks later.

Craft valued USD 170 million is scheduled to be arrived in Mars orbit in September 2012, and landed in Phobos surface in February 2013. the craft then will take soil sample from satellite surface with 20 kilometers diameter and come back home to earth on August 2014.

If Phobos-Ground rescue effort failed, the plan is worried to be fallen into earth, bringing seven tons of poisonous nitrogen oxide and hydrazine.

Written by chrisnado

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