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Russia: Probe To Phobos, Mars Moon, Is Country’s First Interplanetary Mission Since Soviet Times

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2011


MOSCOW — Russia launched an unmanned probe on a daring mission to reach Phobos, a moon of Mars, and to fly samples of its soil back to Earth.

The Phobos-Grunt (Phobos-Soil) craft was successfully launched by a Zenit-2 booster rocket at 12:16 a.m. Moscow time Wednesday (2016 GMT Tuesday) from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Russia’s Federal Space Agency said the craft separated successfully from the booster about 11 minutes later.

But early Wednesday, the agency said the probe had failed to enter a departure trajectory to shoot off to the Red Planet and remained on a support orbit. The agency’s head, Vladimir Popovkin, told the Tass news agency that the spacecraft’s sustainer engine failed to work.

“There was neither first or second ignition,” he said. “Russia’s space control systems and similar systems of the United States searched the spacecraft on the orbit. It’s fuel tanks have not been thrown off.”

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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