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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Jan > Jan 13

LIFE Module/GRUNT Update From The Planetary Society

From: Kathy Kasten <catraja.nul>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 22:04:08 +0000
Archived: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:19:42 -0500
Subject: LIFE Module/GRUNT Update From The Planetary Society


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Dear Kathy Kasten,

First of all, thank you for supporting our Living Interplanetary
Flight Experiment (LIFE). It was and is a remarkable idea for
testing the viability of Earth-borne living things in the cold,
zero-g, and radiation-filled environment of deep space.

As you probably know, the Zenit-2SB rocket took the Phobos-Grunt
spacecraft into Earth orbit successfully but has remained in a
low orbit there. The system built to take the spacecraft toward
Mars has failed.

Neither the Russian nor any other space agency has been able to
establish useful communication and send the Phobos-Grunt
spacecraft with our LIFE biomodule on its way to Mars' moon
Phobos

Our most likely outcome is that most of the spacecraft will
explode high in the atmosphere. Its fuel is in aluminum tanks,
which are expected to literally burn up at high altitude. Any
debris from such a burst will probably flutter to the Earth's
surface somewhere at sea, as most of our planet's area is
covered in water.

There is a possibility that some portion of the spacecraft will
come down on dry land, where parts of it may be recovered. Our
biomodule is quite durable and was designed for an even faster
reentry speed than what it will have in the coming days
reentering from a low-Earth orbit.

If we can manage to get our LIFE biomodule back from space, you
can count on our doing a thorough analysis of the module itself
as well as our microorganism passengers. We may learn something
surprising.

We will know more in just a few days. Please follow our updates
on our blog.

It's another unexpected event in space exploration, always a
risky business. Rest assured that The Planetary Society will
continue to press forward and seek answers to those deep
questions: Where did we come from, and are we alone?

Thank you again for your continued support.

Bill Nye
CEO, The Planetary Society

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