Feeds

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

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

'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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
NASA eyeballs SOLAR HEAT BOMBS, MINI-TORNADOES and NANOFLARES on Sun
Astro boffins probe fiery star's hidden depths
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.