Engineering Flaws Cause Russia's Mars Probe Failure
    2012-01-19 16:50:15     Xinhua       Web Editor: Guo

Engineering flaws were the main cause of a recent failure of Russia's Mars probe Phobos-Grunt that crashed into the Pacific Ocean, Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said Thursday.

Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin told Vesti FM radio station that earlier speculation that the crash was caused by a powerful electromagnetic emission from a US radar was "only one of the causes" for the failure.

"The main causes were the errors during production and test works, as well as the engineering flaws," Popovkin said.

However, he added that Russia was also expected to test the influence of the U.S. radars on the Phobos-Grunt, which may involve NASA specialists.

According to Popovkin, Roscosmos is preparing to send another interplanetary spacecraft to Mars in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA).

"We are now negotiating with the European Space Agency to launch a mission (to Mars) once again by 2016-2018," Popovkin said.

Roscosmos confirmed in November that the Phobos-Grunt probe carrying China's Yinghuo-1 satellite, which was launched on Nov. 9, failed to reach the intended orbit. The spacecraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday.

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