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A Russian scientific spacecraft whizzing out of control around the Earth, and expected to re-enter the atmosphere on Saturday, may have failed because it was struck by some type of antisatellite weapon, the director of Russia’s space agency said in an interview published Tuesday.
Mr. Popovkin’s remarks to the newspaper Izvestia were the first high-level suggestion of nefarious interference. A retired commander of Russia’s missile warning system had speculated in November that strong radar signals from installations in Alaska might have damaged the spacecraft.
“We don’t want to accuse anybody, but there are very powerful devices that can influence spacecraft now,” Mr. Popovkin said in the interview. “The possibility they were used cannot be ruled out.”
Mr. Popovkin did not directly implicate the United States in the interview. But he said “the frequent failure of our space launches, which occur at a time when they are flying over the part of Earth not visible from Russia, where we do not see the spacecraft and do not receive telemetric information, are not clear to us,” an apparent reference to the Americas.
Originally posted by Mkoll
I call bull#. If we hit it with an anti satellite missile I think it would be in much smaller pieces.
Shady side of Earth: Western trace in space probe’s failure?
Doomed Martian probe Phobos-Grunt, which was due to fulfill a Russian mission on one of the Red Planet’s moons, might have been a target of external influence. The probe failed while flying over the western hemisphere, outside of Russia’s control.
In an interview to the Russian newspaper Izvestia, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, said that intended influence on the probe cannot be completely excluded.
”I do not want to blame anyone, but these days there are very powerful means to influence space vehicles,” he told the newspaper, adding that it is still unclear why the probe’s engine failed to start in the first place.
The official also made a more generic allegation on possible reasons behind the accident with the probe station.
“We do not understand frequent failures of our space vehicles when they fly over the shadow, for Russia, part of the Earth,” Popovkin said. “Right there we are unable to see the vehicle and to receive its telemetry.”
Phobos-Grunt was one of five high-profile failures for the Russian space program in 2011. On Feb. 1, a Rockot launch vehicle failed to place an Earth-observing satellite in the proper orbit. A similar problem occurred on Aug. 18, when a Proton rocket delivered a $300 million communications satellite to the wrong orbit. Then, on Aug. 24, the unmanned Progress 44 supply ship crashed while making a cargo run to the International Space Station. Officials identified the cause as a problem in the third-stage engine of the vessel's Soyuz rocket.
Originally posted by JJRichey
Or......... maybe a piece of space junk or a micrometeorite hit it? Satellites fail sometimes... maybe it was in a degraded orbit? Especially Russian ones, as of late Its also "good policy" to blame someone else for your failures.edit on 11-1-2012 by JJRichey because: (no reason given)
I've mentioned on other threads that I think the x-37b is up there "nudging" satellites out of the sky.
It makes no sense that there have been more satellite's come down in the last 2 years than in the previous 20, coincidentally after we launched the first of these orbiters.
Originally posted by samkent
Or more likely the Russian are making crappy spacecraft lately.
For us to knock out their launches we need to know where and when to aim our devices. Most of their failures seem to be right at launch (1st orbit). So unless they are providing us with the launch specifics we have no way of knowing when and where.