Russia Asks If US Radar Ruined Space Probe

Published January 17, 2012 10:54AM (EST)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian media say space experts will look into the possibility that a U.S. radar station may have inadvertently interfered with the failed Mars moon probe that later plummeted to Earth.

The newspaper Kommersant on Tuesday cited unnamed experts as saying radiation from a U.S. station in the Marshall Islands could have knocked out the probe's electronic systems soon after its launch in November. The probe became stuck in Earth orbit for two months.

The state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Yury Koptev, former head of the Russian space agency, as saying investigators under his charge will test the effects of radiation similar to U.S. radar emissions on a model probe.

The probe fell to Earth on Sunday in the vicinity of Chile and Brazil, but no confirmed impact sites have been reported.

By Salon Staff

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