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Russia's Mars probe to plunge to Earth in January
Russia's failed Mars probe will come crashing down to Earth next month, space agency says
By The Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) ' Russia's space agency says a probe bound for a moon of Mars that instead got stuck in Earth's orbit will plummet down to Earth next month.

The agency said Friday the unmanned Phobos-Ground probe that got stranded after its Nov. 9 launch will come crashing down between Jan. 6 and Jan. 19.

It says the probe's toxic fuel will burn on its fiery re-entry, but several dozen fragments with a total weight of up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds) will fall on the Earth's surface.

It says one of the probe's gauges has a small amount of radioactive Cobalt-57, but it won't pose any threat of radioactive contamination.

The agency says that the rough area where the probe's fragments will fall could only be calculated a few days ahead of its plunge.

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