Phobos-Grunt Update

On December 8 the head of Russia’s Space Research Institute finally sent out a letter that basically declared the Phobos-Grunt mission lost.

This is a big loss for the planetary science community and will probably be very damaging to the Russian space program’s funding for science missions.

I was getting ready to completely write off this mission today. However, according to Dr. David Warmflash posting over at Universe Today there is an upcoming orbit during which Phobos-Grunt will be completely in insolation (space speak for being in sunlight). This means the batteries will remain charged and the spacecraft will be fully functional, giving ground controllers more time to try to communicate with the decrepit  probe. So I’ll wait to hear the results of this last chance. After that I will only follow any more updates with morbid curiosity about where she will crasback to Earth.

Meanwhile, to ease your mourning of Phobos-Grunt, check out these cool pictures taken of her in orbit from the ground.

December 12, 2011 6:58 pm

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