Wed, November 09, 2011
Technology > Science > China's first Mars mission

Russian Mars probe fails to reach intended orbit

2011-11-09 04:02:58 GMT2011-11-09 12:02:58(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- A Russian Mars probe launched early Wednesday has failed to reach its intended orbit, Russia's space agency was quoted as saying.

The abnormality occurred after the Phobos-Grunt probe had separated from the Zenit-2SB launch vehicle, which blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 2016 GMT Tuesday, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The spacecraft was supposed to use its own booster to reach the designated flying orbit, but failed to do so, the report added.

Vladimir Popovkin, head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, was quoted as saying that the mission control lost contact with the probe after the separation.

"Now we know its coordinates and we found out that the (probe's) engine failed to start," he added.

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