Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Re: Phobos Grunt

The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft. Credits: Roscosmos.

European tracking stations have for the first time established contact with the Russian interplanetary station Phobos-Grunt, which has got stuck in a near-Earth orbit, the chief of the European Space Agency Moscow office, Rene Pichel, told the RIA-Novosti news agency.

Pichel said that one of their stations had established contact with Phobos-Grunt, but that it was only the very beginning of the process, no telemetry had been received yet, and that they were working in close contact with their Russian colleagues.

The European Space Operations Centre (Esoc) in Darmstadt reports that the contact was made at 2025 GMT on Tuesday. A spokesman confirmed that telemetry from Phobos-Grunt was received and that this data was passed straight to the Russians.

The mission is also notable because China's first Mars satellite, Yinghuo-1 ("luminous fire") , has been launched piggy-back on the main Russian spacecraft.

Die gestrandete Sonde scheint im derzeitigen Orbit ihre Lage aktiv zu regeln. Die Umlaufbahn vergrößert sich um einen Kilometer pro Tag und wird zudem kreisförmiger. Ein Absturztermin wurde für frühestens März berechnet.
The stranded probe seems to actively regulate its current orbit position. The orbit is increased by one kilometers per day and is also circular. A de-orbit date was calculated for March at the earliest.

"Flugbahnänderung der Phobos-Grunt nicht erklären"
Orbit modification cannot be explained
"verbluefft Astronomen"  Flabbergasts Astronomers

FORUM (google translated)

Thank you very much for the European Space Agency, and assist engineers in solving the problem of communication with FG! Flight to Mars fails, but it is possible to find out what happened.

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