back to article ESA gives up on duff Russian Mars probe Phobos-Grunt

The European Space Agency has abandoned attempts to revive dud Martian probe Phobos-Grunt after days of trying to contact the clapped-out craft with no success. The agency, along with Russian space boffins at Roscosmos, has been trying to send commands to the craft to get it to raise its Earth orbit - but Phobos-Grunt has …


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  1. Anonymous John

    Get your ass to Mars.

    As title.

  2. Local Group

    "Phobus is willin'."

    "...and it being low orbit, Phobus went out with the tide."

  3. Frobozz of Rassilon

    Know what I wish we had?

    Wouldn't it be nice if we still had a Space Shuttle that could just go pick this thing up?

    Russia could send some money the other way for a change, too.

    1. Anonymous John

      We never had such a Shuttle.

      A salvage mission couldn't have taken place even in time even if there had been a Shuttle ready for launch. A cradle to hold it in the payload bay would have had to be designed and built, and astronauts trained. With future missions put back months.

      And a $450 million Shuttle mission to rescue a $163 million probe makes no economic sense at all. I wish things were different. After 50 years of space travel they should be.

      1. Tom Chiverton 1

        Stick an extra PAM in the bay, if you are going up any way. Easy.

        IF we'd bothered to build some nice cheap ion drive based robots for this sort of thing, so much the better, could even station them on IIS with an old school chemical pack for getting there quicker.

    2. Ardent
      Thumb Down

      Estimated cost of Grunt: less than $70 million. Average cost of one shuttle launch: $450 million + half a dozen lives on the line.

      Anyone who gives a damn about space exploration should be glad that the shuttle is history.

    3. Ru

      "a Space Shuttle... could just go pick this thing up"

      Your grasp of orbital mechanics is poor. Worse than your grasp of economics, it seems.

      Suffice to say, the shuttle would not be the correct tool for the job. Building the correct tools is well within our abilities, but isn't really financially viable at this point either.

  4. rvt

    At moments like this you could only wish you could smack it like a a old CRT television. 9 out of 10 hours would work properly again!

  5. Caltharian

    I wonder if they ever thought of using the ISS to attempt to make contact or even some sort of remote visual inspection

  6. mika7367

    Ha! Ha!

    Has anyone tried: $ sudo reboot

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