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Russian space experts are struggling to decode fresh telemetry signals received from the stricken Phobos-Grunt probe. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating that America’s ionosphere research site in Alaska caused the spacecraft’s failure.
On Wednesday night, the European Space Agency’s station in Perth, Australia, established communication with Phobos-Grunt, which has been rotating helplessly around the Earth since its engines failed to fire two weeks ago.
The Perth station sent a command to the Russian craft which caused it to transmit long-awaited telemetry data, which was duly forwarded to Russian specialists.
Staff at the Lavochkin Association, which built the ill-fated Mars probe, are working on decoding the telemetry. Some insider reports suggested that the signal was scrambled beyond recovery due to lack of compatibility between Russian and European communications equipment, although this has been neither confirmed nor denied officially. If true, however, engineers should be able to make the necessary adjustments before the next communication session.
Meanwhile, a retired Russian general believes that the glitch which prevented Phobos-Grunt from carrying out its space mission was caused by American radar sites in Alaska.
General-Lieutenant Nikolay Rodionov, who used to command the country’s ballistic missile early warning system, told Interfax that “the powerful electromagnetic radiation of those sites may have affected the control system of the interplanetary probe.”
The general was apparently referring to the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) site located in Gakona, Alaska. The facility’s stated purpose is the study of the ionosphere and its use for communication. But several popular conspiracy theories say it is developing a superweapon with potential to cause natural disasters on a global scale, including earthquakes, climate change and reversal of the magnetic poles.
Phobos-Grunt’s mission was to reach the Martian moon Phobos, pick up a sample of its soil, and return it to Earth. The space trip was cut short, however, when its engines failed to fire as intended.
The probe is now stuck in a low-Earth orbit, which makes communication very difficult. There had been fears of it falling to Earth, but hopes rose on Tuesday night when the ESA managed to establish radio contact.
the powerful electromagnetic radiation of those sites may have affected the control system of the interplanetary probe.
Originally posted by RumET
Flag and star for such a quick response. I was about to post that Russian Mass Media point to US radar facilities as a possible cause for the Phobos-Grunt probe failure. I'm not quite convinced the US would dd such a thing, but if they did, isn't that space warfare of some kind? Usually the knocking out of satellites precedes a first strike. Or perhaps the US wished for the probe laden with all kinds of fun things to malfunction and plummet to death somewhere over Russian territory? /playful tone "Come on America, I thought we were friends."
Following are some Russian links pointing to a Russian Space Forces commander (N. Rodionov)
There seems to be a general non understanding why this probe acts so weirdly. Maybe it wants to seek asylum in Australia?