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back to article Russian probe engines crap out on way to Mars

Russia's fourth attempt to reach Mars has run into trouble and is now stuck in orbit around Earth. Phobos-Grunt, which launched successfully last night, managed to make it into orbit, but has failed to fire its engines to get it started on its journey to Mars. The craft – Фобос-Грунт, or Phobos-Grunt ("grunt" means "soil" in …

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Joke

'Space Engineers'

Surely that should be Rocket Scientists - it's not that difficult.

Rev. Andy

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Unhappy

Oh dear

Looks like this probe didn't have enough grunt to break free of orbit.

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Happy

Space Engineers...

..or Space Cowboys

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Headmaster

Any Fule Kno

Ask as "space engineer" and they'll tell you that that there is no such thing as a "rocket scientist." It's a layman's term for mass media use.

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Unless you're studying actual rocket engines... In which case, you *are* a rockect scientist.

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Linux

Studying rocket engines - hmm, thermodynamics and Mechanical Engineering - maybe some fluid dynamics as well. Still engineering disciplines...

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Only once they get to the practical stage.

Before that, they're theoretical, and belong to the scientists.

(being actually *related* to one, I've heard no end of it about the difference between science and engineering)

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FAIL

Ahahahahahahahahahahahah...

That is all.

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Come on...

the odds are slim getting the craft there to begin with, but the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million-to-one.

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The chances are milllion-to-one, but still they come

You never know, Wayne and Wells may get the last laugh on that one.

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Coat

You get what you pay for eh ?

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Alien

That Mars jinx

...is really potent? Haven't Russia never managed to successfully get a probe there, at like 16 attempts?

Getting a bit unsubtle for those Martians to keep disabling stuff remotely (and presumably skirting the Spirit and Opportunity rovers as they trundle past)

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Mushroom

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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Alien

The decade-old mars curse seems to go on...

<joke>

It almost looks like somebody don't want humans to peek around the red planet...

</joke>

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Anonymous Coward

Looks like Phobos lost its grunt (NT)

NT means no text

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Unhappy

As it's full of fuel, if this thing collides with a satellite will we get rings like Saturn?

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FAIL

What do you mean Vadimir?

Did I put the fuel in?

That was your job.

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Unhappy

Memories of the UK Beagle project come to mind

It must be both frustrating and disappointing to have this happen, just as with Beagle, conceived by a group of British academics headed by Professor Colin Pillinger of the Open University.

Let's hope this type of rocket failure doesn't happen on a Space Station trip - everyone is depending on them.

At least the Beagle had a decent name, Beagle 2 was named after HMS Beagle, which twice carried Charles Darwin during expeditions - that was when Britain had a real Navy.

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Trollface

Did it have planes?

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Holmes

No, but I remember hearing that beagle was futzy and underfunded from the get-go. With half-arsed fixes right to last minute and everything.

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Was it also Beagle that relied on an air-bag landing system that was clasified by the USA, so they weren't allowed to know anything about how it operates, how to work with it, etc.?

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Pint

3 Days to patch the damn program

some techies are seeing real action these days...

Good luck guys! I'd love a Russian spacecraft on Phobos!

I'll drink to that obviously....

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Alien

I'm just glad I'm not the computer programmer on that project.

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Alien

Phobos...

Wasn't that where Doom started?

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Yeah, was thinking Phobos Grunts were the green chaps that got mown down early on.

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Anonymous Coward

How much of the 5 Grubles is R&D?

I'd be interested to know how much of the budget for this sort of space mission is R&D, and how much is for building and launching the thing. In other words, if it fails because of a build problem, how much would it cost to build and launch another one (which might involve waiting for another suitable alignment of the planets a year or so later)?

(Gruble = gigaruble, obviously, even though it sounds like a small copper coin used by mediaeval serfs.)

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Trollface

grubles = стратобаксы

sbucks = stratobucks. hello bros in rnd.

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Thumb Up

grubles = стратобаксы

sbucks = stratobucks. hello bros in rnd.

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what the, can't get to moderation stage )-:

surprise

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And the USA is suppose to depend on Russia to get Americans into space?

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Anonymous Coward

The perfect is the enemy of the good

Well, being stuck in orbit for a few days is better than exploding.

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Quick Learners/SMART Mentors/Outstanding Great Game Players

Oh, don't you just love that Sino-Soviet sense of fabulous theatre to draw attention to what they can do and highlighting the opportunities which abound in the magical east for alien space programs.

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Say hello to Russians when they come there...

on mars.

I home you speak Russian little better than english.

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Anonymous Coward

3 days to patch....

..thank god it not Apple (or Oracle)

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Alien

Funny how that asteroid happened past at the same time, do you think someone is telling us something?

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Coat

Hmmmmmm

So, it "Fails" on the same evening that an "asteroid" passes by at close range...

It is the start of the invasion!

- The one with the Origami Tinfoil hat plans in the pocket...

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Terminator

Small point

7 tons of hydrazine on that thing.

USA 193 had about 1/2 a ton

"Captain of the USS Lake Erie to the courtesy phone......"

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hydra zine

makes sense...

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Russian Mars Missions

Fourth attempt? Mars-1 to Mars-7, Fobos-1 and 2, Mars-96 and quite a few others that were stranded in parking orbit and given some "Kosmos" or "Sputnik" designation. A few others, like the two M-69 orbiters, never made it to orbit.

Mars-5 was essentially successful, it went into orbit in 1973 and carried out all its mission tasks (photography and numerous spectroscopic and space-plasma and cosmic-ray experiments). Fobos-2 entered orbit and performed some of its tasks, but failed before it could rendezvous with Phobos.

Let's not forget that Russia's Soyuz/Fregat technology sent Mars Express to its destination. Mars Express consists of a communications satellite refitted with the backup copies of Mars-96's experiments. So there is considerable Russian involvement of the "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" style.

Fobos-Grunt failed to achieve three-axis orientation lock on the Sun and a bright star. Those sensors are redundant, so this may be a software glitch. It will be in range of special telemetry and telecommand stations in Baikonur Wednesday night, and they may be able to get a full set of housekeeping telemetry then. There is a small chance the mission can be resumed, if this is just a fixable software state.

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Latest tracking/telemetry give them approx. 2 weeks before the mission is lost, so with any luck the problem can be identified, corrected & hopefully tested before orbit correction burn.

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Meh

It grunted its last

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Holmes

to grunt away = просрать

just love the sputnik's name. with all experience of the russian space industry in translating english, don't the english-speaking audience see anything exceptively strange in it? either it has absolutely no connection with mars, or - the russians have a "просрать" idiom = lit. "to shit/grunt smth. away". why the hell do russians/chinese need phobos exactly now? just ask yourself yourself.

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I have a set of jumper leads if they need to borrow them for a bit.

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Anonymous Coward

Optional

Phobos-Grunt: Russian for "D'oh!"

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so there's still a chance?

crossed fingers in hopes they can jump start the probe.

Perhaps if they get it rolling they can just pop the clutch? :)

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Coat

Ex-Lada engineers located

That is all.

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Devil

It was hijacked by the small moon passing by the other night. The Martians are saying 'no more' to our Mars exploring shennanigans.

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No-one noticed a sudden red beam from YU55 during launch, then?

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Trollface

Grunt = Dirt?

I swear, those darn foreigners have a different word for EVERYTHING!!!

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well unlike old and spent satellites this one is loaded with toxic fuel.. I wonder how they can control its eventual descent since they can only receive comms one way (it they just get telemetry info and not sent commands)..if there's a chance that it will impact a city or something can they shoot it down once it reaches the atmosphere? maybe call up the good US of A and offer a target practice for the airborne laser perhaps?

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