Re: Mix-ups about Mars '96 decay(s)

Ed Cannon (
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 22:34:19 -0400

Thanks to Alan Pickup for his helpful message on this topic!

On the Fed. of American Scientists site there's a page with 
links to several documents from various sources about the 
decay of Mars-96, including a story on Dec. 13, 1996, from a 
South American newspaper reporting that the crashed space 
probe was found in Bolivia.  (May I assume that it was turned 
over to Russia or some agency qualified to handle plutonium?)  
The stories on this page, all having to do with Mars, are in 
reverse chronological order.  The URL of this page is:


** Note:  The URL to the Nov. 19 Rossiiskiye Vesti news story 
listed there has been changed to:


Apparently the eyewitnesses did see the Mars-96 probe itself
re-enter.  The questions remain regarding #24656 -- was it 
96-64A or 96-64B, and when did it really decay?  Could the
the March 18, 1997, report of the decay of #24656 be due to 
some sort of clerical mix-up on the part of OIG or whomever?
Did the December SSR list the decay of #24656?  (Anyone still
have that SSR?)

By the way, there's a good space-related page that I don't 
remember encountering before -- even though I frequently 
watch the TV news program that published it and have read 
movie reviews on their Web site.  That URL is:


One more "by the way" -- I found a NORAD/USSPACECOM news 
release that I hadn't seen before dated Jan. 22, 1997, and 


It was pieces of that one that fell near Georgetown and Seguin, 

No observations tonight -- too cloudy (at UT Austin anyway).

Ed Cannon
Austin, Texas, USA
30.3086N, 97.7279W, 165m