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Russia to repeat infamous mission of Phobos-Ground probe

12.04.2012  |  15:03

The trip of the Russian interplanetary probe to obtain soil from Mars satellite Phobos will be repeated. However, over the next few years, technology of the flight, landing, and so on will be developed on the satellite of the Earth, that is, on the Moon

The trip of the Russian interplanetary probe to obtain soil from Mars satellite Phobos will be repeated. However, over the next few years, technology of the flight, landing, and so on will be developed on the satellite of the Earth, that is, on the Moon. The Russian Academy of Sciences speaks in favor of the revival of Phobos-Ground, and the position of scientists, it seems, has found understanding in the Federal Space Agency.The first unit Phobos-Ground was launched from Baikonur on the night of November 9, 2011. After the separation from the launch unit "Zenit," the engines that were to bring it to a higher, so-called, reference orbit so that it could launch directly to Mars, did not get activated. Then the spacecraft began to descend, and the entire planet was wondering whether it has fully burned in the atmosphere or not As a result, on January 15, 2012 the remaining parts of spacecraft Phobos-Ground fell into the Pacific Ocean.  Phobos-Ground was to reach the Martian satellite Phobos, land on this celestial body, take some soil samples and deliver them to Earth for laboratory study.

The mission was supposed to last approximately two and a half years. The cost of the project, including the cost of the device, was about five billion rubles.Federal Space Agency expects to obtain insurance at a rate of about one and a half billion rubles - the same amount Phobos-Ground was insured for. Apparently, this insurance can become the basis for the cost of creating the Phobos-Ground-2.Earlier, speaking at a press conference of RIA Novosti, the director of the Institute of Space Research with the Russian Academy of Sciences Lev Zelyony spoke about the Russian devices that are planned to go to Mars under the framework of the European project "EkzoMars.

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" A few days ago at a meeting of heads of Federal Space Agency Vladimir Popovkin and Director of the European Space Agency (ESA) Jean-Jacques Dordain a preliminary agreement was reached on the joint implementation of the project "EkzoMars."After the actual withdrawal of the American "EkzoMars" from NASA, Europeans on their own initiative appealed to Russia to provide a reliable launch device. The Federal Space Agency, in turn, suggested the ESA cooperation on an equal footing.Russia hopes to deliver to Europe scientific equipment units to replace the American ones, claiming that the results of the mission will be intellectual property of both the ESA and the Academy of Sciences.

It looks like the Europeans would agree. The agreement on joint participation in the "EkzoMars" is to be signed before the end of this year. The list of Russian scientific equipment on board the probe, scheduled to go to Mars under the "EkzoMars" in 2016, is already defined. It includes at least two Russian instruments: a collimated neutron detector and the complex of atmospheric chemistry, whose components were used, or rather, were to be used on the Phobos-Ground. A couple of years ago, this equipment found local areas with high hydrogen content on the moon. There will be more new items, in particular, an analogue device "Rusalka" ("Mermaid" in Russian, the abbreviation stands for "Hand spectrum analyzer components of the atmosphere"). A similar tool is now operating at the International Space Station.

With its help astronauts take pictures of the Earth's surface to measure the content of methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere. We can safely talk about a joint development program of Martian research between Russia and Europe. It is clear that this program involves sending an orbiter to study Mars and landing on the surface of the lander in a 2016, and the beginning of the rover in work in 2018. In the 1970s, a similar space rover had successfully explored the moon. According to preliminary data, the new rover will largely resemble the old ones.Russian scientists uncovered a few secrets on space research.

For example, they announced that the launch of the Russian probe to study Venus, "Venera-D," may be held no earlier than 2024, and a research project on Mercury may begin no earlier than 2031. In addition, according to scientists, the Federal Space Agency is working on a project according to which by 2030 Russia will send astronauts to the moon and will deploy a network of research stations on Mars. Incidentally, so far the new Russia was unable to travel to other planets. The USSR did it for the last time in 1988, then all interplanetary missions have been forgotten. According to the opinion poll conducted on April 7-8 of this year, the Russians also see Russia's loss of influence in the space industry (46 percent versus 37 years ago), but the majority of respondents - 57 percent - consider it necessary to expand rather than reduce the space program. The Russian scientists have to research some of the nuances of space from scratch.

However, it is obvious that the first failure of the Phobos-Ground did not cool the desire to study space.  Andrei Mikhailov Pravda.Ru  Read the original in Russian  .



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