Phobos-Grunt will fall to Earth in January


19/12/2011

Russian interplanetary station, stuck in Earth orbit will fall to Earth next month. As reported on Friday, the Russian Space Agency, the toxic fuel and radioactive material on board does not pose a threat of infection.

Roscosmos warned that about 20-30 fragments weighing a total of 200 kilograms will survive the heat of reentry and irrigate the earth’s surface fiery shower.

According to the agency, the unmanned station will fall to Earth between 6 and 19 January. At least roughly calculate the impact site will be available only for a couple of days before the event.

It is currently known that the fragments station Phobos-Grunt could fall anywhere, which is between 51.4 degrees north latitude and 51.4 degrees south latitude, which includes most of the Earth’s land area.

While the agency had lost contact with the station shortly after its launch on November 8, just now received the official recognition of the fact that this unit is valued at $ 170 million, to crash.

After the emergency situation, experts from Russia and the European Space Agency tried unsuccessfully to send the device to the Earth’s orbit toward the target.

Phobos-Ground weighs 14.6 tons, with 12 of them in an extremely toxic fuel. Experts warn that if the fuel is frozen, then some of it may survive entry into Earth’s atmosphere, which poses a serious threat of a fall in the populated area.

Roskosmos expressed confidence that all the fuel will burn when re-entering the atmosphere at an altitude of 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface and will not pose any danger. In addition, it was stated that 10 pounds of cobalt-57, a radioactive metal contained in one of the instruments on board, poses no threat of radioactive contamination.

It was one of the most risky and challenging unmanned interplanetary missions in the history of mankind. Scientists had hoped that studies of Phobos’ surface will solve the mystery of its origin and shed light on the origin of the solar system. Some believe that this freaked cratered satellite of Mars is the asteroid energized gravity of the Red Planet, while others are of the opinion that this is a fragment remaining after a collision with another Mars celestial body.

Officials expressed the view that the reason for failure lies in obsolete equipment and an aging staff.

Original: Physorg


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