Phobos-Grunt has now been deemed unrecoverable, as the BBC just reported:
Russia’s space agency (Roscosmos) says its unsuccessful Mars probe will fall back to Earth next month.
The unmanned Phobos-Grunt spacecraft became stranded in orbit in November.
The agency says it expects the toxic fuel on board to burn up on re-entry, but 20-30 fragments of the spacecraft will survive to the surface.
Current Roscosmos estimates for the timing of the fall are between 6 and 19 January, but this window will be narrowed nearer the event.
Still unknown in whether the Russian Spacecraft contains a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, or RTG. Such devices are commonly used on interplanetary spacecraft, generating electricity to power the heat system that keeps onboard devices from freezing.
If anybody needs me, I’ll be in the basement until this is all over….