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US radar may have caused 'doomed' Russian Mars probe crash

Melbourne, Tue, 17 Jan 2012 ANI

Melbourne, Jan 17 (ANI): A radar stationed at the Marshall Islands in US, may be the reason behind failed mission of Russian aircraft, which crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, according to an unidentified Russian space official.


According to the Moscow-based Kommersant newspaper, the official said that the radar may have unintentionally jammed electronic communications with the 163 million dollars Phobos-Grunt craft as it monitored asteroid movements, the Age reported.


The Russian Mars probe 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.


The fragments of the aircraft 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. (ANI)


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