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Phobos-Grunt reenters over Pacific
Posted: Sun, Jan 15, 2012, 7:22 PM ET (0022 GMT)
Phobos-Grunt illustration (Roscosmos) Russia's Phobos-Grunt spacecraft reentered on Sunday over a region of the South Pacific Ocean, according to Russian military reports. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that the spacecraft reentered at 12:45 pm EST (1745 GMT) Sunday about 1,250 kilometers west of the coast of southern Chile. The reentry took place over a remote portion of the ocean, with no reports of visual observations of the reentry or any debris sightings. The spacecraft had been stuck in a decaying orbit since its launch in early November, after its engines failed to boost the spacecraft out of Earth orbit. The spacecraft was designed to travel to the Mars moon Phobos, collect samples from its surface, and return them to Earth. In addition, Phobos-Grunt was carrying China's first Mars spacecraft, Yinghao-1, which was also lost on reentry. Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said Sunday he had taken charge of the investigation into the mission's failure.
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