updated 1/18/2012 6:24:32 PM ET 2012-01-18T23:24:32

The U.S. says that it had nothing to do with the failure of the Mars moon probe that crashed to Earth this week but that it did respond to a Russian request to help recover it.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday the U.S. helped in efforts to re-establish contact with the spacecraft after it was stranded in orbit.

She said that although the recovery efforts were unsuccessful, the U.S. also helped monitor the final orbits of the Phobos-Grunt probe, and its uncontrolled entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Fragments of the probe showered into the south Pacific on Sunday. Russian media reported that investigators will examine whether a U.S. radar station could have inadvertently interfered with the probe. Experts say such claims are far-fetched.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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