Russia launched a scientific probe, meant to visit a Martian Moon, but it never made it out of the Earth’s orbit. It has crashed into the Pacific Ocean, around 700 miles west of Chile at the weekend, according to Russian Military spokesman.
This probe, called the Phobos Grunt was circling the Earth after launching on November the 9th. It was losing a few miles of altitude every day, until it fell into the Earth’s atmosphere. This 13 ton ship made an uncontrolled crash landing but luckily enough it hit an ocean. According to reports it hit the water at 12.45 pm Eastern time, breaking into fragments.
The crash is an embarrassing end to a failed launch for Russia, who had planned a two and a half year voyage to Phobos, one of Mars two small moons. This mission could have made history for Russia as they retrieved a soil sample. The craft was equipped with a little shovel to take eight ounces of dirt from the surface of the planet and place it inside a tiny capsule.
The problems started when one of the engines that was meant to boost the craft out of orbit failed to fire and scientists on the ground could not fix the glitch.
This failed launch cost the Russians space program around $170 million.
Kitguru says: The Russians will be keen to put this behind them and move onto the next project.