Feeds

Phobos-Grunt 'crippled by US aurora station', 'is a bio-weapon'

Medvedev 'I'm not saying put someone up against a wall, but ...'

High performance access to file storage

'I'm not saying put someone up against a wall for this, but ...' Medvedev speaks

General-Lieutenant Rodionov, who used to command Russia's ballistic missile early warning system, told Interfax that "the powerful electromagnetic radiation of those sites may have affected the control system of the interplanetary probe".

Which rather leaves the question of whether that was on purpose or not to the imagination. But all these theories pale beside this explanatory video of how the Phobos-Grunt isn't even a mission to Mars, but is instead a biological warfare experiment.

As part of its mission, the craft was carrying a small amount of bacteria to test whether selected organisms can survive in deep space - the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE).

According to our robot-voiced friend in the video, some of these bacteria are linked to anthrax, and others to cancer, AIDS and Crohn's disease "to name a few".

He postulates three separate conspiracy theories:

  1. Phobos-Grunt was never meant to leave Earth's orbit, but is actually intended to plummet back to the surface "to cause a massive disaster".
  2. The probe was meant to go to Mars, but was sabotaged by "the powers that be", in order to (you guessed it) cause a disaster.
  3. The craft was headed to Mars but it was "intercepted by possible extraterrestrial intelligences" to stop it from getting to the Red Planet.

These and other possibilities will no doubt be investigated if the Russians and the ESA manage to get back in touch with Phobos-Grunt again, an attempt they will be making sometime today.

The Russian space boffins in particular will be keen to solve of the Phobos-Grunt riddle, since president Dmitry Medvedev has said he might criminally prosecute some of them for the failures that have embarrassed the country.

"Recent failures are a strong blow to our competitiveness. It does not mean that something fatal has happened, it means that we need to carry out a detailed review and punish those guilty," Medvedev told reporters in televised comments, according to Reuters.

"I am not suggesting putting them up against the wall like under Josef Vissarionovich (Stalin), but seriously punish either financially or, if the fault is obvious, it could be a disciplinary or even criminal punishment," he added. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.