The head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos--you know, the one that hasn't enjoyed a lot of success lately--isn't sure exactly why Russia's doomed Phobos-Grunt mission failed to fire its engines and escape Earth's orbit on a trajectory for Mars. But he's got a theory: it's the West's fault. At least, that seems to be the between-the-lines meaning of a statement made to the Russian newspaper Izvestia.
"I do not want to blame anyone, but these days there are very powerful means to influence space vehicles," Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin told Izvestia, adding "we do not understand frequent failures of our space vehicles when they fly over the shadow, for Russia, part of the Earth. Right there we are unable to see the vehicle and to receive its telemetry."
The shadow for Russia, of course, is the other side of the planet (read: North America, or possibly Europe). And naturally Popovkin isn't the first to suggest that the Phobos-Grunt failure might be the result of external meddling. Back in November, a retired Russian general who was once chief of the country's ballistic missile early warning system told the Interfax news agency that American radar sites in Alaska were the cause of Phobos-Grunt's failure.
"The powerful electromagnetic radiation of those sites may have affected the control system of the interplanetary probe," General-Lieutenant Nikolay Rodionov said at the time. He was referring, presumably, to the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) site near Gakona, Alaska, an ionospheric research facility run by the U.S. Navy and Air Force (and DARPA, among other research institutions) that has been blamed for everything from earthquakes to weather events to the downing of TWA flight 800.
Of course, someone's got to take the blame, and no one wants to be that someone. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has already said he wants to seek punishment for those responsible for the Phobos-Grunt debacle, saying "I am not suggesting putting them up against the wall like under Josef Vissarionovich (Stalin), but seriously punish either financially or, if the fault is obvious, it could be a disciplinary or even criminal punishment." No wonder everyone is so eager to pass the buck.
More diplomatically, Popovkin did admit that Phobos-Grunt was a hastily launched mission. Some technological risks were taken with the program, he said, and since some of parts aboard the probe were approaching their expiration dates, the mission had to go to Mars in 2011 or not at all. The result was a mission that was rushed to the launchpad.
lols poor Russia can't get anything right
In the late evenings of night, Grunt work on Probos-Grunt probe and it was stole premature from it's own construction. The idiot envious Chinese took the Probos-Grunt from the garage of "GRUNT" and made it their own. But the idiot Chinese stole something that was not finished and they in their on minds could not complete or even create\invent. It is expected result that it meets it fiery event, ha HA HA as my dear Grunt tells the story.
The Chinese is a land of Hackers, thief’s and copy cats and their power of inventions is a lost history; they are weak........
See life in all its beautiful colors, and
from different perspectives too!
I have been investigating the seeder side of the Internet and checking out Conspiracy theories and the possibility of Ancient Alien interaction with humans...very interesting stuff. If you understand that only a hand full of people are in total control of the monetary system (Rothschild and Rockefeller, etc.) You begin to get a picture of the current political system. The Rockefeller's helped funded and start the United Nations..the land the UN building is on is owned by Rockefeller. The idea and intricate workings of the Freemasons and the incursion of possible Illuminati interactions is another front to be dealt with. Some of these people don't want to see other powers get access to space.
Current Black Operations that are occurring at Area 51 and possible Anti-Gravitic activity. There is a possibility that those who are in Power are actively trying to thwart further advancement into space
Look into: the TR-3B, the documentary movie called Thrive, the Orion Conspiracy website (http://www.theorionconspiracy.com/)
Look into the website called: AlienScientist (http://www.alienscientist.com/)
Look into sites that talk about Ancient Aliens and related to the Mayans
What I'm saying is that there is a possibility that there is a covert US involvement.
I believe there have been at least 29 Mars missions that Russia has taken and ALL have failed....what is going on with that. All it takes is changing a few lines of software code and that code can translate into Engines misfiring or not firing at all, orbital paths that are off by a few degrees that results in Burn Up on entry to Mars Atmosphere...etc. It just takes one person that is covertly inserted into the workforce and is tasked to make a slight change in something
I remember doing a school project a few years back, where I had to list all the moon, Mars, etc landers and orbiters. Russia has a VERY bad history, and that's just the stuff that's been declassified by the Russian government.
wow, this puts my tag bellow in a sad light...
to mars or bust!
"I remember doing a school project a few years back, where I had to list all the moon, Mars, etc landers and orbiters. Russia has a VERY bad history,"
ummm duh!!! this was the 17th out 17th failed mission to mars from Russia.
lets not forget the 4 nuclear reactors that they tried to launch into space that ALL failed to reach orbit, and one spilled low levels of radiation over 1/3 of Canada.
it is curious that their joint missions, and manned missions have not failed since the fall of the USSR but the majority of their solo (or non EU or NA) projects and non manned missions seem to fail the majority of the time. but then again, when was the last time you bought a Russian car, TV, or even a toaster. They have never ever ever had a decent track record with ANY technology ever! in this case I think its the easy obvious answer. They build $$$$ products.
AND WAY OFF topic, but yeah. I think the ENGLISH Nazis need to shut the $$$$ up. who cares. it is the internet. and I agree with most people. we work all day long. I am AN ENGLISH TEACHER for $$$$s sake! the LAST thing I want to do when I am on popsci is complain about english or take the time to type or proofread. its the INTERNET!!! fast messy and 99% full of %%%% so WHO CARES???
I would not be surprised at all if the Americans are behind this. It's a fact that they always meddle where they should not.
What would be the point of interfering with an interplanetary exploration probe? They could just as easily have accused the Chinese of hacking it, but what would be the motivation? Only if it wasn't really a scientific probe but some kind of spy device or weapon in disguise, but how likely is that?
I've said it when the first article came out. A full investigation needs to be done and those guilty if there are any should be punished. Otherwise, they need to re-think their Q/A processes and Continual Service Improvement strategies... cuz comeone learn from your mistakes goshdarnit russia..for Yuri plz
NASA and another space agency (either JAXA or the ESA; I forget which one), had experiments on this spacecraft. What benefit would it be to the U.S. to sabotage a mission they had a significant part in. Of course we know NASA is not the Defense Department (we sure as hell know NASA doesn't get the same funding as the DOD does). I won't call it one way or another, but it's 2012. This 1950s rhetoric seems a little bit old and out of place. If you want to look to sabotage, why don't we look at the obvious fact: over the past three to four years, the People's Republic of China has been either speculated as or caught "Red" handed being behind the hacking exploits and theat of electronic information from dozens to hundreds of private and government firms in the U.S. and several European countries. The world's #2 Economy is phishing for some paths towards industrial expansion to knock off #1, and/or position themselves to greatly influence East Asia in the attempts of being in a position to call a few shots in it's global interest at the world table.
What if the truth was that there IS some form of life on Mars and no one wants the public to know about it? So there are some global entities doing what they can to prevent that leak.
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
@Inaka_Rob: Off topic I know, but if you're an English teacher than I'm a three-wheeled teapot aquarium housing a hyper-intelligent breed of Neptunian lung fish.
Travelling the internet with "fast and messy" English is like travelling the highway with fast and messy driving. Sure, you may get somewhere faster but along the way your polluting more, and possibly causing accidents (in this sense misunderstandings based on poor diction and grammar). I can understand a bit of exasperation, but someone who claims to be an English teacher completely disregarding the tenets of the language simply because they are on the internet is beyond belief.
Now back on topic, I wonder if this will produce any kind of diplomatic strain between the US and Russia. Russia may not be a technological or manufacturing power-house, but they do have plenty of resources.
i am always a bit skeptical when someone brags about what they are or have accomplished while blogging on the internet, I AM NOT A DOCTOR, just thought i would clear that up, cheers
@Fallacy: Those Neptunian lung fish can't be all that hyper-intelligent.
You should have written: "if you're an English teacher then (not than) I'm a three-wheeled teapot"
and: "but along the way you're (not your) polluting more"
On topic: If the Russians have built an interplanetary probe that could be affected by something like HAARP, it probably wasn't ever going to make it as far as Mars anyway.
I concur with this sentiment. Just because 90% of the people using the internet do not check their spelling and grammar (in any language for that matter), doesn't mean you should follow suit. The computer/text language of lower-case abbreviations and acronyms is illogically not uniform as some of the phrases share similar lettering with different meaning (example: g2g; good to go and got to go). The translation of the phrases are based on the writer. Most character meanings are shared and thus universal (example: lol) but as a whole it is not an effective means of communication (I know, a bit off topic from bad grammar, but the meaning still applies). For us English speakers, the most effective communication in writing comes from the grammatical principles we learned whilst children in 'Grammar School' (i.e. Elementary; which is the concept; not the likes of 'rocket science').
The internet is a place where people try to use anonymity to their advantage. I am not a Jaffa. I just play one on TV.
MAN, THAT'S FROM THAT MOVIE 2012!!
To play your devil's advocate and poke holes in your theory, wouldn't the idea of extra-terrestrial life on Mars be the motivation behind multiple failed missions on the side of the U.S. as well as the Russians. NASA doesn't have much in terms of Red Planet exploratory failure. Overall, NASA has been nothing but successful in exploring the red planet, to a point where they consider the concept of flying a plane there (go figure). The idea would be to keep telemetry from coming back to Earth, revealing the secrets that they don't want you to know. "A government is only a body of people usually and notably ungoverned."
I thought Apollo 18 was a decent movie too.
@NOM: I never said I am an English teacher. I'm not bothered by people pointing out my mistakes either, it's only a shame that I can't edit the comment to correct them now.
@Fallacy: I was just being facetious. I completely agree with your points about spelling and grammar.
An edit function would be handy. I've often noticed mistakes in my posts just after they were posted.
Back on topic: I think the Russians are correct to be paranoid about interference with spacecraft. But I'd be more concerned about hackers doing it as a joke or to extort money.
I miss Grunt.
See life in all its beautiful colors, and
from different perspectives too!
Well now, if we can legitimize playing the old 'blame game' from one direction, maybe it can be reversed?
Numerous US failures going to Mars
Okee dokee, let's blame the Russians! The Russians not only tried to sabotage the Apollo moon program by destroying the prototype capsule, they killed 3 of our astronauts. Then there is the shuttle program and 14 more 'nauts who have died because the Russians were angry that their own shuttle, Buran, wasn't going along nearly as well.
That brings us full circle because some seem to be saying that the US is attempting to undermine the very same Russians that we are also now dependent upon for a ride to the ISS... or anywhere else in space.
It's just too much politics and it is undoubtedly trendy to bash America right now.
Pop culture on PopSci. What a mix, lol.
@D13: If the 2012 movie scenario becomes imminent, then you'd see me running towards the top of the nearest skyscraper so I could watch it while holding a bag of popcorn and shaking my fist against the sun.
I think a better explanation for why it didn't work is that Russians built it. If your rocket is so delicate that any stray radar waves can scramble its systems then something is very seriously wrong with your engineering department.
I once read a novel, 'Storming Intrepid' I beleive the title was [sorry for speaking like Yoda], in which a secret cabal of Soviet officials were sabotaging their own space program to provoke an international incident with the US. This might be a case of something similar happening, given the current problems their government is having.
It is wholly understandable that Russia would blame the U.S. rather than China. Just think of accountability. We allow our nation to be held accountable for some things, but China does not. Which means that Russia would have to FORCE accountability on China. Really a much more safe thing to blame the U.S.; isn't it, Mr. Medvedev?
This about this for a second. Say you are a head government official... and you have access to Area 51. Heck, let's say you're running, i don't know, a future stealth helicopter program that is in it's final stages. You don't want people to know what is really happening. You send up a fleet of these prototype stealth helicopters with specially installed landing lights on the bottom of the fuselage. You fly in formation over a particular city in Arizona, and all of a sudden, the next day, everyone thinks they saw a giant UFO that had 5 bright lights mysteriously in the same formation your helos were in. I think conspiracy theories are what is blinding people from the truth. What is better than to sit and watch people beat themselves up trying to find something you know doesn't exist. I would purposely set up "UFO" sightings using advanced technology that is being tested, and let the people run free with the idea aliens have visited Earth, traveled millions of light years, yet we managed to capture them, when we ourselves haven't even left the solar system. Really? Really? that's pathetic. Anything intelligent enough to get here isn't gonna be taken down by our technology.