Friday, January 13, 2012

Phobos Grunt comes Down this Weekend

UPDATE: The latest CalSky update hasPhobos Grunt coming over Adeliade on the 16th at 5:57 local ( not daylight saving) time, with atmospheric re-entry at 11:07 local time. Obviously this is a rapidly evolving situation, so keep an eye on the websites.

The doomed Russian Mars probe, Phobos Grunt, will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere sometime this weekend, the predictions are for 15 January UT, but with wide spreads of error on the order of half a day (see here, here, here and here for a variety of predictions). The tightest prediction puts the re-entry somewhere over Mongolia.

From Australia's point of view, the spacecraft will come down sometime in the early hours of Monday 16th, but none of the Satellite tracks pass over Australia in the next few days.

Here's a radar image of Phobos Grunt (Via Jayne Stigger)Link

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