US says it not to blame for failed Russian probe

AP News
Posted: Jan 18, 2012 7:27 PM
US says it not to blame for failed Russian probe

The State Department says the U.S. had nothing to do with the failure of the Mars moon probe that crashed to Earth this week, adding that U.S. officials responded to a Russian request to help recover it.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday the U.S. helped in efforts to re-establish contact with the spacecraft after it was stranded in Earth orbit.

She said that although the recovery efforts were unsuccessful, the U.S. also helped monitor the final orbits of the Phobos-Ground probe and its uncontrolled entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Fragments of the probe showered into the South Pacific on Sunday. Russian media reported that investigators will examine whether a U.S. radar station could have inadvertently interfered with the probe. Experts say such claims are far-fetched.