Last week the head of Russia’s space agency, Vladimir Popovkin floated the theory that a number of Russian spacecraft failing may be due to foreign sabotage.
Now, the agency has gone one step further: testing to see whether U.S. radar signals could have halted its troubled Phobos-Grunt probe due to be bound for Mars.
The Moscow Times reports that the agency will oversee tests in the next few days to see if radiation similar to that emitted from U.S. radars could have doomed the spacecraft. The news was initially broken by Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.
For now, the suggestion from Russia’s space agency is that the probe accidentally drifted into the impact zone of American radar systems causing its electronics to fail. The Moscow Times notes that in November, Russian military experts noted that the rocket’s trajectory was in line with power American radar systems. Additionally, it has also been conceded that ageing equipment may also have been to blame.
Popovkin is due to report on the reasons for the probes failure on January 31.