“Orbital tracking reports suggest Russia's failed Mars probe, Phobos-Grunt, fell back to Earth on Sunday, to be destroyed over the Pacific.
Both Russian and US military sources announced the demise of the craft within minutes of each other.
It brings to an end the sorry story of this mission, which promised to return rocky samples from Mars' biggest moon.
Instead, after its launch in November, Phobos-Grunt could not get more than 345km from Earth before stalling.
Once it became clear that controllers could not establish contact with the probe and diagnose its faults, a fiery dive back to Earth became inevitable.
This is the third high-profile spacecraft re-entry in four months, following the return in September of the American UARS satellite and the German Rosat telescope in October. Both fell over the ocean.
With so much of the Earth's surface covered by water, there was every chance Phobos-Grunt would do the same.
The Russians have had a torrid run of space failures recently, leading the head of the country's space agency to wonder even if saboteurs were at work.
Western countries, which use Russian rockets to launch their satellites, are just worried though that some systematic failures have started to appear in what has traditionally been a highly regarded space industry.
With their own opportunity to go to Mars now lost, the Russians may decide to put their future interplanetary efforts into joint ventures with the Americans and the Europeans. The Russians have an offer from the US and Europe to join the ExoMars missions to the Red Planet in 2016 and 2018…”