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The World

The Soviet spacecraft that was poised for an encounter with a Martian moon is probably a total loss, a disaster that could precipitate a major struggle within the Soviet Union’s scientific community over the future of their space program, Soviet and U.S. experts said. At stake are unmanned missions to Mars in 1994 and 1996 and possibly a manned expedition to the red planet early in the next century. Soviet scientists lost radio contact on Monday with the Phobos 2. John M. Logsdon, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University’s School of International Affairs, said he fears that the loss of the spacecraft will set off a wave of infighting among Soviet scientists and agencies.


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