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Production, design errors mainly behind Phobos-Grunt crash

January 19, 2012, 10:53 UTC+3
Commenting on the theory that the station could have broken down due to the impact of the US radar, Popovkin noted that "the committee is investigating this theory"
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, January 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Production and design errors are the main theories behind the crash of the automatic interplanetary station Phobos-Grunt, chief of the Federal Space Agency Vladimir Popovkin said on Thursday.

“The main thing is to find, where the errors were made in the production and testing. First of all, this is design errors, which can be envisaged in the very start and production errors in the process of production,” the Roscosmos chief said in an interview on the Vesti FM radio station.

Commenting on the theory that the station could have broken down due to the impact of the US radar, Popovkin noted that “the committee is investigating this theory as only one of reasons.” If this theory is proved true, Roscosmos “will get in touch with NASA partners and ask them to participate in an experiment” for its investigation, he said.

The Phobos-Grunt automatic interplanetary station was launched on the low Earth orbit on November 9, 2011. The station was to enter the Martian orbit and land a descent module on the Martian satellite Phobos simultaneously with distant research. However, after the launch the station failed to enter the flight trajectory to the Mars over the failure of the drive engine and stayed on the Earth orbit.

The Phobos-Grunt debris fell down on the Earth last Sunday. The Russian Defence Ministry reported that remaining Phobos-Grunt debris dropped in the Pacific, 1,250 kilometres west of the Wellington Island (Chile).

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