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On November 8, 2011, Russia returned to the space race in the exploration of Mars with an ambitious mission, known as Phobos-Grunt. It was a landing module whose main objective was to reach Fobos, one of the moons of the red planet, and collect samples from its surface. However, as a secondary mission, it also intended to place the Chinese Yinghuo-1 probe in the Martian orbit.
The planned landing site was a region of the Phobos moon where samples could be collected from the ground of Mars. The Fobos-Grunt spacecraft was equipped with a robotic arm that had the ability to collect samples up to 1.3 centimeters in diameter. Since the characteristics of the Phobos soil were uncertain, the lander included another extraction device that had been used in the case where the surface had been too rocky to the main device.
Phobos-Grunt is lost
The lander Phobos-Grunt of Roskosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan, address Mars. However, Fobos-Grunt suffered a control failure that caused this landing module to be stranded in the Earth's lower orbit. In addition, all communication with the ship was shortly lost shortly after launch.
Numerous attempts made to re-run the ship were unsuccessful and eventually the January 15, 2012, the Fobos-Grunt plummeted to Earth in a totally uncontrolled, eventually disintegrated over the Pacific Ocean.
In principle, the Fobos-Grunt mission should have returned to Earth in August 2014, bringing 200 grams of soil from the Martian moon Fobos. In addition, it was the first mission in the exploration of Mars led by Russia since the failed Mars 96.
The ship was designed to become the first spacecraft to return with a macroscopic sample of an alien body from the Soviet mission Luna 24 in 1976. However, all hopes for this mission were in vain, because early I failure ship.
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