Russia to try again for Phobos-Grunt?

Feb 01, 2012 by Jason Major, Universe Today
oster art for the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission. Credit: Russian Federal Space Agency/IKI

Russia says "eisho odin ras"* for its Mars moon lander mission, according to Roscomos chief Vladimir Popovkin.

If the European Space Agency does not include in its ExoMars program, a two-mission plan to explore Mars via orbiter and lander and then with twin rovers (slated to launch in 2016 and 2018, respectively), Roscosmos will try for a “take-two” on their failed Phobos-Grunt mission.

“We are holding consultations with the ESA about Russia’s participation in the ExoMars project… if no deal is reached, we will repeat the attempt,” said Popovkin on Tuesday.

Phobos-Grunt, an ambitious mission to land on the larger of ’ two moons, collect samples and return them to Earth, launched successfully on November 9, 2011. It became caught in low-Earth orbit shortly afterwards, its upper-stage engines having failed to ignite.

After many attempts to communicate with the stranded spacecraft, re-entered the atmosphere and impacted on January 15. Best estimates place the impact site in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern Chile.

The failed mission also included a Chinese orbiter and a life experiment from The Planetary Society.

Russia is offering ESA the use of a Proton launch vehicle for inclusion into the ExoMars , now that the U.S. has canceled its joint participation and Atlas carrier. Roscomos and ESA are scheduled to discuss the potential partnership in February.

Explore further: Europe sat-nav launch glitch linked to frozen pipe

More information: en.rian.ru/science/20120131/171052488.html

*Phonetic pronunciation for “one more time.” Thanks to my friend Dima for the Russian lesson!

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

No new contact with stranded Mars probe

Nov 25, 2011

The European Space Agency (ESA) said on Friday it had been unable to establish a new link with Russia's stricken Mars probe but added that the craft's orbit seemed to have become more stable.

Russia Mars probe considered lost: report

Nov 12, 2011

Efforts to resume contact with a Russian space mission to Mars stuck in Earth orbit after launch have failed and the probe must be considered lost, Interfax news agency reported Saturday.

Recommended for you

Europe sat-nav launch glitch linked to frozen pipe

8 hours ago

A frozen fuel pipe in the upper stage of a Soyuz launcher likely caused the failure last month to place two European navigation satellites in orbit, a source close to the inquiry said Wednesday.

Cyanide ice in Titan's atmosphere

10 hours ago

Gigantic polar clouds of hydrogen cyanide roughly four times the area of the UK are part of the impressive atmospheric diversity of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, a new study led by Leiden Observatory, ...

Video: Alleged meteor caught on Russian dash cam (again)

13 hours ago

Thanks to the ubiquity of dashboard-mounted video cameras in Russia yet another bright object has been spotted lighting up the sky over Siberia, this time a "meteor-like object" seen on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 27.

User comments : 0