Russian Mars mission halted by glitch in low Earth orbit Spaceflight Now

Russia’s Phobos-Grunt mission, an audacious effort to retrieve samples from a Martian moon, is stranded in low Earth orbit following a successful liftoff Tuesday from Kazakhstan, according to Russian reports. Two rocket burns were supposed to propel the massive probe on a course toward Mars late Tuesday, but indications are the engine firings did not occur, according to Vladimir Popovkin, head of the Russian space agency.
The revelation came after a successful blastoff on top of a Zenit 2FG rocket at 2016 GMT (3:16 p.m. EST). Phobos-Grunt and an attached rocket pack separated from the booster about 11 minutes later.
Radar trackers did not detect Phobos-Grunt in the expected orbit after it was supposed to fire engines nearly three hours after liftoff. The burn was timed to occur over South America and out of range of Russian ground stations, which are limited in coverage over Europe and Asia.