Russian spacecraft to crash to Earth on Sunday

The remainder of the crippled Phobos-Grunt spacecraft is set to crash to Earth   on Sunday following its botched mission to Mars, space experts have said.

The minibus-sized Russian craft has been in a low orbit around Earth since   losing contact with engineers shortly after its launch on November 8.

It had been intended to explore Phobos, one of Mars’s two moons, but became   stranded while still orbiting Earth and attempts to put it back on its   original course failed.Most of its mass is expected to burn up as the craft re-enters the atmosphere but 20 or 30 pieces of small debris collectively weighing about 200kg could   reach Earth. In a normal re-entry about 20 per cent of the space junk’s mass would be   likely to reach Earth, but in the case of Phobos-Grunt it could be even less   because it contains large quantities of unused fuel which will burn or   dissipate in the atmosphere.

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Categories: Europe, Russia

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