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Failed space launches of 2011 blamed on possible sabotage

January 11, 2012

Last year was a relatively unsuccessful one for Russia's space program. Several of the spacecraft that were launched in 2011 encountered problems, including the Phobos-Grunt Mars probe that got caught in Earth's orbit, according to the AFP. Recently, it has come to light that many of the issues occurred when the spacecraft were unable to communicate with Russian radars, and the news source reports that officials are considering the possibility of sabotage.

"I do not want to blame anyone, but today there are some very powerful countermeasures that can be used against spacecraft whose use we cannot exclude," Vladimir Popovkin, the head of Russia's space program, told local reporters, according to the AFP.

Popovkin explained that, in the case of the Phobos-Grunt, there was no reasonable explanation for the malfunctioning booster rockets. Had they ignited on schedule, the craft would still be on its mission to gather information from Mars. Instead, pieces of the orbiting vessel are expected to begin reentering Earth's atmosphere and crash back to the surface.

The insinuations of foul play may be enough to fuel to fire of conspiracy theorists around the world. They can make calls to Russia with international phone cards to discuss the possibility of tampering with their friends.

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