Russia’s Failed Mars Probe May Crash Into Pacific Sunday

Russia’s failed Mars probe may crash into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile on Jan. 15, the space agency Roscosmos said.

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.

-- Editors: Andrew J. Barden, Inal Ersan

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