Russia Launches Mission to Mars Moon

The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft
Last time any attempts to explore the Red Planet were made back in 1996. After that, there has been no (even failed)  missions launched. But now Russia  is again on it, launching a highly ambitious project,funded by the Russian space agency Roscosmos, to the planet's moon. Titled as Phobos-Grunt , the mission successfully lifted off on a Zenit-2SB booster rocket at 3:16 p.m. ET from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, as reported by NatGeo. It further informs :the craft is slated to reach Mars in the fall of 2012.Phobos-Grunt will then land on the 13.8-mile-wide (22.2-kilometer-wide) moon Phobos in early 2013.
The craft will scoop up half a pound (0.2 kilogram) of the small moon's surface material and then return to Earth. The main body of the lander
shall be employed for further research and hence, will remain behind.
"We want to study the characteristics of the Martian satellites and understand their evolution," said Alexander Zakharov, Phobos-Grunt's lead scientist. "The origin of the Martian satellite system may give a clue to the formation of satellite systems of the other planets."

All info collected from NatGeo


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