Phobos-Grunt

This article or section documents a scheduled or expected spaceflight. Details may change as the launch date approaches or more information becomes available.


Phobos-Grunt
Organization:Russia
Mission type:Orbiter
[ edit]


Phobos-Grunt (rus. Фобос-Грунт) is a planned Russian sample return mission to Phobos, one of the moons of Mars. It will be the first Russian interplanetary mission since the failed Mars 96 mission. In August 2006, China announced that it would supply the survey equipment for the mission.[1] Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian Space Agency said in September 2006 that the agency is planning to sign a contract with China by the end of the year.[2]. As of May 2007, this agreement consists on the Chinese Yinghuo-1 being sent together to Mars with Phobos-Grunt on October, 2009. On Aug.-Sept. 2010 , after a 10 – 11.5 months cruise, Yinghuo-1 separates and enters a 800 x 80 000 km three day equatorial orbit (5° inclination). The spacecraft is expected to remain on Martian orbit for one year. Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo-1 will complete occultation experiments.

Its name is derived from two simple characteristics of the mission. "Grunt" in this context means 'soil' (a sample of which will hopefully be returned to Earth) while "Phobos" is obviously the mission's destination. Phobos-Grunt will also study Mars and its environment, including atmosphere and dust storms, plasma and radiation. Development started in 2001 and the preliminary design was completed in 2004. After that, the selection of scientific instruments will take place. Electric jet propulsion is considered for this mission. Phobos-Grunt is scheduled to be launched in 2009 on a Soyuz launcher. It will return to Earth in 2012.

Mission objectives and studies

  • Collect soil samples from Phobos and return them to Earth for scientifc research on Phobos, Mars, and Martian space.
  • In situ and remote studies of Phobos (to include analysis of soil samples)
  • Monitoring the atmospheric behavior of Mars, including the dynamics of dust storms
  • Studies of the vicinity of Mars, to include its radiation environment and plasma and dust

See also

References

  • M. Ya. Marov, V. S. Avduevskyb, E. L. Akima, T. M. Eneeva, R. S. Kremnevc, S. D. Kulikovc, K. M. Pichkhadzec, G. A. Popovd, G. N. Rogovskyc (2004). "Phobos-Grunt: Russian sample return mission". Advances in Space Research 33 (12): 2276-2280. DOI:10.1016/S0273-1177(03)00515-5. 

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sample return mission is a spacecraft mission with the goal of returning tangible samples from an extraterrestrial location to Earth for analysis. Sample return missions may bring back merely atoms and molecules or a deposit of complex compounds such as dirt and rocks.
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Phobos

Phobos as imaged by Mars Global Surveyor on June 1 2003.
Discovery
Discovered by: Asaph Hall
Discovery date: August 18, 1877
Orbital characteristics
Epoch J2000
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