\"Ireland

Ireland from space.

Rogue Russian spacecraft could land in Ireland on Sunday night

\"Ireland

Ireland from space.

The Russians have warned the Irish government that parts of a failed spacecraft could fall on Ireland on Sunday night.

The rogue Russian space probe is plummeting back to earth and has an outside chance of hitting Irish soil in the next 24 hours.

The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft was launched by the Russians in November in a bid to bring soil samples from the Mars moon Phobos and send them back to Earth.

The probe’s engines didn’t fire as planned however and it became stuck in Earth’s orbit.

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Reports say that the 14.5-ton spacecraft has been circling "lower and lower ever since" and will inevitably fall back to earth.

The Russian embassy in Dublin formally notified the Department of Foreign Affairs on Saturday that the spacecraft will fall somewhere between Argentina and Ireland.

The Irish Aviation Authority and police have been notified that the Russians estimate that the Phobos-Grunt may fall to earth on Sunday though the date could change "due to external factors."

Tanks filled with more than 10 tonnes of propellants Unsymmetrical DiMethylHydrazine and Dinitrogen TetrOxide, both of which are toxic, are expected to rupture long before the craft hits earth.

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