Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Are Russian Space Troubles From Beyond Mars?

  1. The head of the Russian space agency has hinted that foreign sabotage might be to blame for the malfunction of the country's Martian space probe, Phobos-Grunt.
  2. In Russian, there is only one word to mean both "foreign" and "alien."
  3. Vladimir Popovkin told Russian newspaper Izvestia,"Today there is no clarity, why the propulsion unit onboard Phobos-Grunt failed to start.
    "It is also unclear, why our satellites often have failures at the time when they fly out of range where we don't see the vehicle and do not receive telemetry from it.
    "I don’t want to make any accusations, but today there is powerful equipment to influence spacecrafts, and the possibility of their use should not be ruled out....”
Given the long history of Russian space program failures in their Martian efforts - while not in their Earth-orbit and lunar missions - it is interesting to note that there is only the translator's preference to tell us of "foreign" rather than "alien" sabotage.
When will NASA and ESA admit that they know what has been wreaking havoc on the Martian probes of Russia?
Can there be any doubt that it has been witnessed and recorded by the many and highly capable satellites orbiting our planet?
Why won't these government agencies inform the public of what is causing these failures?
This is especially irresponsible as we await this weekend's rain of flaming debris from their latest casualty: Phobos-Grunt.
We will report back here as more information is received.

Posted by Listener 43

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  1. Listener -
    I believe you are mistaken about there being only a single word for alien and foreign in Russian. Just as in English, there are two words, and - depending on the context - they can sometimes be used interchangeably, but not in all cases.
    I haven't read the original report in Izvestia yet, but I doubt there was any sense of confusion in the original.

  2. The probe was flying backwards dummy!

    1. By the time that there were images good enough to tell that it was flying backwards, it had long lost all power and control.

      By then it was just falling through the atmosphere, and the direction it was falling was determined by it's shape, not by how it would be operating were it in control. Just try throwing a dart backwards and see what happens.

      Oh, and it may well be that you are a troll, but I believe in being fair, and so will use this opportunity to educate you a little :)

  3. While I'm not thrilled with your calling me a dummy, I do appreciate the fact that you noticed that the probe was flying backwards.
    The question is, however, just what caused that to happen. Are you claiming that the Russians are so inept that they can't even fly a probe in the proper orientation?
    I find that a bit more difficult to believe than the veiled implication of an outside influence found in the official statement to Izvestia.

  4. It looks like we are not welcome on Phobos.
    Too many incidents with this rock.