Ah, my dear sweet Fobos-Grunt or Phobos-Grunt satellite that shall never reach it’s end destination, is now confirmed to crash in Afghanistan according to the USA Military. On the 14th of January 2012. Period.
Ok, according to Russian sources:
“The U.S. Strategic Command said the spacecraft would enter the atmosphere at 2.22 a.m. Moscow time (22.27 GMT) and fall somewhere between 30.7 Degrees North and 62.3 Degrees East in southwestern Afghanistan near the city of Mirabad.”
IMHO, from a satellite where you can’t control anything anymore, which movements, as far as I know, can only be measured via external tools, it’s pretty amazing that you can predict where it will crash in 3 weeks time from now.
I’ll stick to the Russian approach – like with the German ROSAT and American UARS :
You can only predict where it will crash when you see that it hits the atmosphere or gets close to it. Solar outbursts do help to drop the attitude as well from satellites, and those are also not predictable with the latest CMEs (Solar Storms) from the sun (see spaceweather.com).
More details and charts and a prediction/date overview is available on the site zarya.info
The best view we, ‘citizens’, have of #Fobos-Grunt is still via n2yo.com – and that shows it can crash between 52′ north and 52′ south – that’s basically everywhere besides North- and Southpole.
Some additional Internet Sources about the attempts so far: spaceflight101.com.