Russia still strives to restore Mars probe
Updated: 2011-11-11 22:01
MOSCOW - Russia's federal space agency Roscosmos is still making efforts to restore its Phobos-Grunt Mars probe and rules out the possibility of loosing the probe, the agency's spokesman Alexei Kuznetsov told Xinhua on Friday.
He said that Russian engineers have been working around the clock to "revive" the spacecraft carrying China's Yinghuo-1 satellite.
"We are continuing making efforts until the last minute when the vehicle remains physically in its Earth orbit. To restore the probe is our prior work for the next few days," Kuznetsov said.
"Once again, currently Roscosmos has not abandoned the attempts to save the mission, though the chances for that are not very high," he said.
The spokesman added that it is impossible to calculate the place where the Phobos-Grunt might fall before the probe enters the dense layer of the atmosphere.
"Similarly, nobody at the moment can tell for sure, which parts of the spacecraft would burn in re-entry (into the atmosphere) and which parts would reach the ground," Kuznetsov said.
However, the spokesman didn't reveal the payment details for a failure mission, only said that the mission has been insured for some 1.5 billion rubles ($50 million).
Roscosmos confirmed on Wednesday that the Phobos-Grunt probe carrying China's Yinghuo-1 satellite failed to reach the intended orbit, as the vehicle has not used its own booster to reach the designated flying orbit as scheduled.