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Mars Space Science

Russians Can't Make Contact With Busted Space Probe 117

New submitter benfrog writes "Despite repeated attempts over the past few days, Russia is unable to make contact with Phobos-Grunt, the probe that was supposed to make it to Mars and never left Earth's atmosphere. Estimates now vary widely on the time left to contact the probe, but it is descending toward Earth and will likely turn into scrap before it can be reached." Official information is still hard to come by, but the Planetary Society Weblog has been keeping up with the story.
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Russians Can't Make Contact With Busted Space Probe

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  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Friday November 11, 2011 @05:04PM (#38029078) Homepage

    Come on guys, give the Ruskis a break. At least they're trying. What you have is really a small group of people on a shoe string budget with a truly horrendous administration / supervision problem (hint - the 'old' CCCP still lives in little pockets in Russia, nowhere more so than the space program). If you read some of the newsgroups you can get a feel for the frustration that is rampant.

    There are a half dozen separate groups involved in Phobos / Grunt and they don't have the same level of expertise, funding or supervision. There is little (comparatively) money for integration. There are lots of politics. Looking at the problem from afar, it's clear that they have a few systematic issues of late and it's also becoming apparent they haven't fixed them.

    And on top of it all, spaceflight is hard. Very hard. Unforgiving and expensive. Let this be a lesson to everyone else. Pay up, work hard or boom.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court