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Dear Colleagues !

We need your support in the project "Phobos-Soil", because:
Two ignitions of Phobos-Grunt engine unit are planned to put spacecraft onto interplanetary mission to Mars. But unfortunately in both cases the operation of spacecraft engine is invisible from Russian ground stations. It is planned to record data about system work during engine operation on-board and when reaching the visibility area of ground stations in Russia to transmit these data to ground. But it is not so comfortable approach especially in case of some deviation from nominal scenario including failure. So there is the idea to observe the engine operation by optical instruments, i.e. telescopes, taking into account the position of spacecraft in eclipse part of the orbit during engine burn and brightness of engine plume ( engine propellant is nonsymmetrical Hydrazine and Nitrogen tetroxide, consumed with the rate of 6 kilos per second). Such approach with fast enough delivery of the results of observations may allow to confirm the very fact of the engine operation and to reach more reliable forecast of spacecraft position when the visibility area from Russian ground stations will be reached.

Many thanks for your cooperation!

Project news 17.10.2011 Daring Russian Sample Return mission to Martian Moon Phobos aims for November Liftoff

In just over 3 weeks’ time, Russia plans to launch a bold mission to Mars whose objective, if successful , is to land on the Martian Moon Phobos and return a cargo of precious soil samples back to Earth about three years later....[more]

The description and mission purposes

Mission profile

The spacecraft will be launched from Baikonur and will be inserted into a 207 x 347 km ellipcal based orbit with the inclination 51,4 degrees. The launch can be made at 8 November 2011. ... [ read more ]