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Russia’s lost Phobos-Grunt to fall in Afghanistan – U.S. military

RIA Novosti

16:23 26/12/2011

MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s Phobos-Grunt spacecraft bound for Mars and stuck in an orbit around Earth will fall in southwestern Afghanistan on January 14, the U.S. Strategic Command said on Monday.

Phobos-Grunt, Russia's most ambitious planetary mission in decades, was launched on November 9 but it was lost due to propulsion failure and is expected to fall back to Earth next month.

The U.S. Strategic Command said the spacecraft would enter the atmosphere at 2.22 a.m. Moscow time (22.27 GMT) and fall somewhere between 30.7 Degrees North and 62.3 Degrees East in southwestern Afghanistan near the city of Mirabad.

The Russian Federal Space agency Roscosmos said earlier that the troubled spacecraft would fall between January 6-19 at a location between 51.4 Degrees North and 51.4 Degrees South. The area includes the U.S., China, Africa, Australia, Japan, the Middle East, which includes Afghanistan, the south of western Europe, Ukraine and a small part of Russia.

Roscosmos, however, said the exact time and place could only be forecast a few days ahead.

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