'Toxic' Russian Mars probe finally crashes to EarthJan 16, 10:38 am
Washington, Jan 16 (ANI): The doomed Russian Mars probe that had remained stuck in the Earth's orbit for two months finally came down in flames Sunday, showering fragments into the south Pacific west of Chile's coast, officials said.Pieces from the Phobos-Ground landed in water 775 miles west of Wellington Island in Chile's south, the Russian military Air and Space Defense Forces said in a statement carried by the country's news agencies.The military space tracking facilities were monitoring the probe's crash, its spokesman Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.Zolotukhin said the deserted ocean area is where Russia guides its discarded space cargo ships serving the International Space Station, Fox News repoted.A news agency, however, cited Russian ballistic experts who said the fragments fell over a broader patch of Earth's surface, spreading from the Atlantic and including the territory of Brazil. It said the midpoint of the crash zone was located in the Brazilian state of Goias.The170 million dollar craft was one of the heaviest and most toxic pieces of space junk ever to crash to Earth, but space officials and experts said the risks posed by its crash were minimal because the toxic rocket fuel on board and most of the craft's structure would burn up in the atmosphere high above the ground anyway.The Phobos-Ground was designed to travel to one of Mars' twin moons, Phobos, land on it, collect soil samples and fly them back to Earth in 2014 in one of the most daunting interplanetary missions ever. It got stranded in Earth's orbit after its Nov. 9 launch, and efforts by Russian and European Space Agency experts to bring it back to life failed.Prof. Heiner Klinkrad, Head of The European Space Agency's Space Debris Office that was monitoring the probe's descent, said the craft didn't pose any significant risks."This one is way, way down in the ranking," he said in a telephone interview from his office in Berlin, adding that booster rockets contain more solid segments that may survive fiery re-entries.The Phobos-Ground weighed 14.9 tons, and that included a load of 12 tons of highly toxic rocket fuel intended for the long journey to the Martian moon of Phobos and left unused as the probe got stranded in orbit around Earth. (ANI)
Jupiter's role as Earth's protector challenged Feb 4, 9:55 am
Washington D.C, Feb 4 (ANI): Since 1941, many astronomers have thought of Jupiter as a protective big brother for planet Earth, deflecting asteroids and comets away from the inner Solar System, and now, a new study has challenged its role as the celestial shield.Full Story »
Antarctic fungi survive Martian conditions Jan 29, 12:37 pm
Washington D.C, Jan 29 (ANI): The quest for life on Mars is as tantalizing as ever and now, an experiment conducted on the International Space Station has suggested that fungi and lichens may be able to survive on Mars.Full Story »
Monstrous cloud boomeranging back to Milky Way Jan 29, 10:38 am
Washington D.C, Jan 29 (ANI): A team of researchers has revealed that the old adage "what goes up must come down" is ringing true for an immense cloud of hydrogen gas that is heading towards our galaxy at nearly 700,000 miles per hour.Full Story »
Head-on collision with forming planet tugged the Moon out of Earth Jan 29, 8:56 am
Washington D.C, Jan 29 (ANI): When a "planetary embryo" called Theia collided with the early Earth approximately 100 million years after the Earth was formed, the moon span off into the orbit around the nascent planet, according to a new study.Full Story »
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