The ambitious Russian Mars probe which was supposed to place a lander on Phobos was doomed by a software glitch say Russian officials. “a programming error which led to a simultaneous reboot of two working channels of an onboard computer,” according to RIA Novosti. With both of the main spacecraft computers down the doomed probe basically lost it’s mind. Even with that after the reboot the probe’s design still should have allow communication to be re-established. All satellites are normally designed to survive a computer reboot and will come back in a safe mode waiting for commands from the ground. This admission by Russian officials confirms and editoral published here on KnowledgeOrb which said the root cause of the failure was not the the hardware or software but the state of the Russian space program itself. [adrotate banner="1"] Shortly after the November launch of Phobos Grunt it was supposed to fire its thrusters and start it’s trip to mars. This never happened, the probe lost contact with the ground and it now appears that due [...]
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Recent headlines were filled with a plethora of information about the reentry of the doomed Russian Spacecraft Phobos Grunt. There have been many rumors and speculation as to why it failed and even threats from the Russian leadership to throw the engineers responsible in jail and punish them. [adrotate banner="1"] There are theories ranging from out right sabotage by the United States, to accidental interference, faulty design and even aliens. The Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted an unnamed source who said that tests are being undertaken in Russia to determine whether radar beams from a US military base could have caused a failure in the Phobos-Grunt power system that prevented its engines from firing. We will most likely never know the actual root cause of this failure as there is just not enough data. The probe never established contact with the ground long enough to get usable telemetry data down to see what was going on. There were images of the spacecraft which showed that the probe was not tumbling and the solar arrays were pointed [...]
Latest status for Phobos-Grunt Re-entry 1/16/11 – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, leader of defense and industrial sector, put the investigation into the Phobos-Grunt crash case under his personal control. “I put the investigation in the Phobos-Grunt crash case under personal control. I scheduled a meeting on the issue at the Khimavtomatika design bureau in Voronezh on January 31”. The Phobos-Grunt debris fell down in the Pacific, 1,250 kilometers west of the Wellington Island (Chile) on Sunday, sin a statement from Air Space Defence Troops Col. Alexei Zolotukhin . “I expect from the Federal Space Agency a promised report on the reasons for the Phobos-Grunt crash, the names of culprits and an overview on the prospects of development of the space industry through 2030,” Rogozin underlined. It will be interesting to watch as the Russians attempt to find the root cause and then decide how to punish them. 1/15/2012 has reentered 20:14 GMT The Russian Phobos-Grunt probe has reentered the atmosphere and crashed in the Pacific Ocean, 1250 km off the coast of Wellington [...]