Russia’s new Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said he will oversee the probe into the reasons of the Phobos-Grunt mission failure.
“I am taking the investigation into the reasons for the Phobos-Grunt failure under personal control,” Rogozin, who had been Russia’s envoy to NATO prior to his appointment to the current post in December 2011, said on his Facebook page.
Phobos-Grunt, Russia's most ambitious planetary mission in decades, was launched on November 9 but got stuck in Earth orbit due to propulsion failure. The spacecraft was to explore one of Mars' two moons, Phobos.
It reentered the atmosphere on Sunday. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin said the probe fragments fell into the Pacific Ocean. A law enforcement source confirmed the report.
But a source in the space industry said citing ballisticians that the fragments fell in Brazil.
Russian space agency Roscosmos has so far not commented on the place and time of the fall.
Heiner Klinkrad, head of the space debris office of the European Space Agency (ESA), told RIA Novosti that ESA experts have no information on the Phobos-Grunt crash.