The Curse Of The Great Martian Galactic Ghoul!
The Martian Curse
As the ill-fated Russian space probe “Phobos Grunt” (Phobos Soil) meets it dramatic demise, crashing back to Earth in a blaze of flame and fire once again the Mars curse of the Great Galactic Ghoul lives up to it’s reputation as a (fictitional) space monster that lives very happily on a diet of Mars probes!!
Originally dreamed up by NASA space engineers, it was designed to counter the disappointment of the hazards encountered by and only occasionally survived by, seemingly endless failed Mars missions with a sense of humour, in the form of a fantasy space ghoul!
The Great Galactic Ghoul is supposed to be a sea serpent lying in malevolent and hungry wait en route to Mars. It is akin to the mischevious gremlins RAF pilots in WW2 often held responsible for their aircraft problems.
Mars itself has long been associated with war and destruction, its best known guise being the Roman God of War, It was known by the Egyptians as “The Red One” and by the Babylonians as the “Star of Death.” By the 20th century it was widely considered to be inhabited by dangerous and violent aliens whos warmongering natures would lead them to destroy mankind and claim the Earth for themselves.
The dawn of the space age brought with it a whole new reign of terror of a very different kind. Despite the Red Planet proving to be a benign and lifeless world it also proved to be a ghoulish curse of terror devouring galactic technology as fast as it could…
- 1961/62: FIVE missions to Mars failed, of which FOUR never made it past Earth’s gravity
- 1964: NASA MARINER 3 failed to deploy its solar panels and the batteries went flat
- 1965: Russian probe ZOND 2 was lost contact with and lifeless as it was simply floated straight on past its target
- 1971: RUSSIAN LANDER crashed into Mars creating the first man-made crater
- 1993: MARS OBSERVER (NASA) went AWOL spinning out of control with a leaking fuel tank
- 1999: MARS CLIMATE ORBITER burned up in Mars’ atmosphere during the crafts approach
- 9 November 2011: Russian probe PHOBOS GRUNT (SOIL) launched to collect and return to Earth, soil samples from Mars’ moon Phobos. Stopped communicating within hours with mission control. Crashed back to Earth in a pile of junk January 2012.
The 33 kilogram (73 lb) Beagle 2 separated from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express satellite in Mars orbit six days before atmospheric reentry… then nothing…silence. Nine years later, we still have no idea, to this day, about what happened to Britain’s sole British Mars mission. If you feel like doing a spot of lost Beagle 2 searching, here are some instructions about how to do so.
The Ghoul seems to have developed something of a taste for Russian space craft…. Phobos-Grunt crashed back to Earth recently after its rocket failed, 15 years after Russia’s first Mars mission.. Prior to that in 1989 Phobos 2, although it did manage to arrive at Mars in one piece, was knocked out by a faulty computer before mission completion. Phobos 1 had the grave misfortune to mysteriously vanish before it even got to Mars after losing its lock on the Sun. This resulting in a fatal system failure due to the additional loss of vital solar power, all caused by yet another computer error.
Between 1961 and 2011, 22 space craft were lost to the Great Galactic Terror!