Nov. 9 - Russia's space agency says it is attempting to get its Mars-bound spacecraft back on track after a fault emerged after launch. Simon Hanna reports.
Lift off for Russia's first interplanetary mission in more than two decades. But after the launch from a Kazakhstan base, the spacecraft failed to take the intended course towards Mars. The probe became stuck in the Earth's orbit after an engine failed to fire. Russia's space agency chief said his team was trying to get the spacecraft back on track. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF RUSSIAN FEDERAL SPACE AGENCY, VLADIMIR POPOVKIN: "Apparently the spaceship was unable to reorient from the sun to the stars and it shut down. This was provisioned in the flight programme. We have found its coordinates with our orbit monitoring link and with the help of the North American Aerospace Defence Command. We are now opening the craft, we are looking at the real time telemetry and after that we will reload the control programme on the vehicle to make a second attempt." The 160 million dollar probe began on Wednesday what was expected to be a three-year trip to the Martian moon Phobos. The plan is for the spacecraft to reach the larger of Mars' two tiny moons in 2013 collect a sample, and return to earth in 2014. Simon Hanna, Reuters.