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Russian Official Implies Foul Play In Mars Probe Failure 451

Back in November, Russia launched the Phobos-Grunt probe on a mission to return a soil sample from Mars' largest moon. Sadly, the probe malfunctioned, and never left orbit. It's due to crash into the Indian Ocean this weekend. An anonymous reader points out some interesting comments from a Russian official, Vladimir Popovkin, who obliquely suggested that interference from other countries was a possible cause of the failure. Quoting: "Mr. Popovkin’s remarks to the newspaper Izvestia were the first high-level suggestion of nefarious interference. A retired commander of Russia’s missile warning system had speculated in November that strong radar signals from installations in Alaska might have damaged the spacecraft. 'We don’t want to accuse anybody, but there are very powerful devices that can influence spacecraft now,' Mr. Popovkin said in the interview. 'The possibility they were used cannot be ruled out.' ... Mr. Popovkin did not directly implicate the United States in the interview. But he said 'the frequent failure of our space launches, which occur at a time when they are flying over the part of Earth not visible from Russia, where we do not see the spacecraft and do not receive telemetric information, are not clear to us,' an apparent reference to the Americas."

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