Phobos Grunt Images Reveal Reason Probe Unresponsive

Phobos Grunt Images Reveal Reason Probe UnresponsivePhobos Grunt spotted in low orbit by Astrophotographer Thierry Legault, reports Christian Science Monitor article with video. The astrophotographer detects no tumbling of spacecraft less than 200 miles up, but also, sees possible reason for mission’s failure. “‘The unexpected thing that I realized when I looked carefully at the video is that Phobos-Grunt is moving backwards,’ Legault said, ‘with its solar panels deployed but at the opposite of the sun. It’s not surprising that it had no energy to communicate!'” Phobos Grunt Probe, is projected to reenter, Earth’s atmosphere in January 15-16 time frame. You can locate Phobos Grunt’s current position over Earth here. Another expensive mission ends as little more than space junk.

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