According to Ria Novosti news agency after languishing in Earth orbit for more than two months, the 14.5-ton Phobos-Grunt spacecraft fell at around 12:45 p.m. EST (1745 GMT) on January 15, apparently slamming into the atmosphere over a stretch of the southern Pacific off the coast of Chile. As reported Ria Novosti Alexei Zolotukhin, an official with Russia’s Defense Ministry say that spacecraft crashed about 776 miles (1,250 kilometers) west of the island of Wellington. Before the crash, Russia’s Federal Space Agency, known as Roscosmos, released a map that estimated a potential crash zone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean sometime between 12:50 p.m. and 1:34 p.m. EST (1750-1834 GMT) on Sunday.
The huge probe likely broke apart as it re-entered, with the vast majority of the pieces burning up in the atmosphere, but some big components were expected to survive the fiery fall. At the moment, it’s not clear how many chunks of Phobos-Grunt survived, or exactly where this hail of hardy debris touched down. Roscosmos had estimated that 20 to 30 chunks of Phobos-Grunt, weighing a total of no more than 440 pounds (200 kilograms), might hit the Earth’s surface. Officials also stressed that the probe’s huge reservoir of toxic fuel would burn up high over Earth.