Russia Space Chief Says Some Of Nationís Satellites May Have Been Sabotaged [View all]
By Associated Press,
MOSCOW ó Some recent failures of Russian satellites may have been the result of sabotage by foreign forces, Russiaís space chief said in comments apparently aimed at the United States.
Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin stopped short of accusing any specific country of disabling Russian satellites, but in an interview Tuesday in the daily Izvestia he said some Russian craft had suffered ďunexplainedĒ malfunctions while flying over another side of the globe beyond the reach of his nationís tracking facilities.
Popovkin spoke when asked about the failure of the $170-million unmanned Phobos-Ground probe, which was to explore one of Marsí two moons, Phobos, but became stranded while orbiting Earth after its Nov. 9 launch. Engineers in Russia and the European Space Agency have failed to propel the spacecraft toward Mars, and it is expected to fall back to Earth around Jan. 15.
Roscosmos spokesman Alexei Kuznetsov refused to elaborate on Popovkinís comments, which marked the first time a senior Russian government official has claimed that foreign sabotage has been used to disable one of the countryís satellites.