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Updated: 7th January 2019 12:16

Wayward Russian satellite may land as far north as Calgary

A wayward Russian satellite that is expected to make a fiery return to Earth on Sunday could land in Calgary.

The Zenit-2SB rocket with Russian satellite Phobos-Grunt blasts off from its launch pad in November. The probe is expected to fall to Earth on Sunday. (AP Photo, File)

Canada is just one of many countries that are closely monitoring a wayward Russian satellite that is expected to make a fiery return to Earth on Sunday.

The 13.5-tonne Phobos-Grunt satellite could come down anywhere in an area stretching from Calgary to as far south as the tip of South America.

It has been circling the planet out of control since its Nov. 8 launch when the satellite's rocket boosters failed and caused it to miss its target of Mars.

The key part of its mission was to travel to Phobos, a Martian moon, to collect soil samples and return them to Earth.

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, predicts the car-sized satellite will re-enter the atmosphere on Sunday.

A Canadian Space Agency expert on space debris says the exact re-entry path of Phobos-Grunt will only be known a few hours beforehand.

But Michel Doyon says because 80 per cent of the Earth is covered with water, the chances of anyone getting hit are extremely small.

Officials at the federal Public Safety Department are also keeping a close eye on the doomed satellite.

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