The answer is categorically no, according to Craig Selcher, HAARP program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. For starters, HAARP's IRI has not been operated since September 3, he says.
But even if the IRI had been on during the early days of the Mars mission, the beam couldn't have had any real impact on the craft. The beam's energy, although strong enough to affect overflying airplanes, which have an operating ceiling of about 26 kilometers (in Earth's stratosphere), is too diffuse by the time it reaches the ionosphere, part of the planet's upper atmosphere. Phobos–Grunt's orbit has been between 200 and 400 kilometers.
It turns out that the beam is indeed diffuse at that height. The maximum energy that Phobos–Grunt could have felt from HAARP would have equaled a power density of 1.03 milliwatts per square centimeter, according to Selcher. That is like shining a 60-watt lightbulb on the craft from 21 meters, he says. The sun, on the other hand, blasts the top of the atmosphere with an average of 135,100 milliwatts per square centimeter.
In fact, Cohen says, "HAARP routinely points itself at full power towards certain satellites" that monitor what happens at the top of the ionosphere above an IRI beam. He also notes that despite the relative density of low Earth orbit–satellites, HAARP has not damaged a single one.
None of these counterpoints is likely to allay the fears of the conspiratorially minded, who have argued that HAARP's technology is a U.S. weapon used to trigger earthquakes (including the recent ones in Japan and Haiti), create destructive weather, and even control minds. So charges like Rodionov's will continue unless, that is, HAARP can control minds. In that case, things will quiet down soon enough.