Most of the fragments from the $163 million spacecraft will drop to Earth on Jan. 15 at 9:51 p.m. Moscow time (5:51 p.m. GMT), Roscosmos said in a statement on its website today. The agency published a new trajectory map today showing the arc of the probe as it re-entered the atmosphere. The $163 million Phobos-Grunt, designed to return soil samples from Phobos, one of two Martian moons, became stuck in low-earth orbit after its Nov. 9 launch.
Some 20 to 30 fragments weighing no more than 200 kilograms (441 pounds) will reach the earth’s surface, the space agency said in December.
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