martes, 15 de noviembre de 2011

Russian mission en route to Mars- November 10

The ship is heading to the exploration of the moon Phobos.

Russia launched a space probe yesterday in a daring mission to Phobos, a moon of Mars, Earth to bring the soil sample.

The spacecraft Phobos-Grunt (Phobos-Soil) was successfully launched by a Zenit-2 booster rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Russian Federal Space Agency said the spacecraft successfully separated from its booster rocket about 11 minutes later.

A robotic probe will take a few hours a series of preliminary exercises before he can shoot out to the Red Planet.

However, early Wednesday, the agency reported that the probe had failed to enter an exit path for firing to Mars orbit and continues to support.

The agency's leader, Vladimir Popovkin told Tass news agency that the engine of the ship lift did not work.

"There was neither a first nor a second ignition," he said. "The Russian space control systems and similar systems in the United States sought the ship in orbit. Its fuel tanks have not been released. "

Telemetry crucial

He said he had planned a contingency situation and mission controllers have three days to study the telemetry and redirect the program.

Is expected to return to Earth in August 2014, the vehicle bring 200 grams (seven ounces) of Phobos soil.

The effort cost $ 170 million would be the first interplanetary mission of Russia since the Soviet era.

A previous robotic mission to Mars in 1996, ended in failure when the spacecraft hit the Pacific Ocean by an engine failure.

The Phobos-Soil project should have been originally released in October 2009 but was postponed because the spacecraft was not ready.

The probe is 29.040 pounds heavier interplanetary spacecraft to date, being the fuel that is heavier.

The ship was built by NPO Lavochkin in Moscow, which specializes in interplanetary vehicles since the dawn of the space age.

Failed attempts

The company designed the spacecraft failed launch in 1996, and two probes sent to Phobos in 1988 also failed.

One ship was lost a few months after its launch due to operator error, and lost contact with her twin when orbiting Mars.

The challenges for the Phobos-Soil mission are awesome. Require a long series of precise maneuvers the robotic probe to reach the Martian moon, whose form resembles a potato-, to land on its surface, take samples and fly back.

If the mission goes as planned, the Russian spacecraft will reach Mars orbit in September 2012 and will land on Phobos in February.

Scientists hope that studies from Phobos help solve the mystery of their origin and provide more information about solar system formation.

Some believe that the cratered moon is an asteroid captured by Mars' gravity, while others think it is a piece of fragments resulting from collision with another celestial body Mars.

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