Phobos – Grunt Station is Randomly Turning

The Russian interplanetary station Phobos-Grunt, which was launched from Baikonur spaceport in November 9, 2011 and was dedicated for travelling to Mars and obtaining the grunt samples from the Mars moon Phobos. It is reported that Phobos-Grunt station is not answering to the signals from the cosmic stations in different countries. Initially, it was planned that Phobos-Grunt station will reach Mars in the August 2012. But shortly after its launch, station did not perform the planned maneuvers to take the direction to Mars and stuck in the Earth orbit. Mission controllers lost control over the station. By November 20, the Phobos-Grunt station position was still stable.

However, on December 5 it was reported that most probably stationis randomly turning in the Earth orbit. Scientists have resulted with this conclusion considering that the brightness of the Phobos-Grunt station is changing every 20 second. Since the station is working on the solar energy, its stable position when solar batteries are pointed directly to the sun is vital. In addition to this, cosmic stations from different countries are trying to get a signal from Phobos-Grunt station with no luck. If the Phobos-Grunt station engine will not be started up again in the next couple of days, it will most probably fall down to Earth in the beginning of January 2012. There are also chances that the Phobos-Grunt interplanetary station will break apart before falling down to Earth.