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Phobos-Grunt
PhilHorzempa
post Apr 11 2006, 09:57 PM
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[size=2]


Recent news seems to indicate that Russia will be increasing its spending
on space in the next few years. Does anyone in the UMSF community know
if the Phobos-Grunt probe is set for a definite launch in 2009? I would think
that with the successful sample return of Stardust, that the Russians may be
more inclined to actually fly this mission. Does anyone know if a delay to
a launch in 2011 is being discussed? Also, is this probe definitely set to be
launched on the Soyuz-Fregat, or is the Proton still a contender?
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PhilHorzempa
post May 6 2006, 02:55 AM
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The Russians have recently issued a video summary of the Phobos-Grunt
mission.

You can find it at this site.

http://restart.roscosms.ru/Media/FOBOS2.wmv


It sounds as if the proper way to pronounce the name of this spacecraft
is Phobos-Groond. Also, if anyone is fluent in Russian, a translation would
be welcome.

The Phobos-Grunt mission appears to be ambitious and exciting. Note that
the return capsule foregoes a parachute, and uses "lithobraking" upon
landing on the Earth!
Also, the return sample core appears to build on the technology of the
latter Luna sample return missions, with the core being coiled-up inside of
the return capsule.

One interesting observation concerns the animation of Phobos itself.
Those of us who know the features of our Moon well, will recognize the map
of our Moon's Far Side wrapped around an irregularly-shaped object.


Another Phil
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ljk4-1
post Jun 16 2006, 04:06 PM
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This very recent article (in Russian) contains a diagram of the Phobos-Grunt mission:

http://www.federalspace.ru/NewsDoSele.asp?NEWSID=1581


--------------------
"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
I see that such intercourse long continued would make one thoroughly prosaic, hard,
and coarse. But the longest intercourse with Nature, though in her rudest moods, does
not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

- Henry David Thoreau, November 15, 1853

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Guest_DonPMitchell_*
post Jun 16 2006, 07:09 PM
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Here are NPO Lavochkin's pages about it: Fobos-Grunt
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RNeuhaus
post Jun 16 2006, 07:38 PM
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The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft has a typical Russian design: rustic and simple in order to save useful weigh. That spaceship has a much greater volume proportion for fuel to the rest than any sonda that I have ever seen. The reason is to bring fuel for two ways!

Rodolfo
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Jun 17 2006, 12:25 AM
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QUOTE (RNeuhaus @ Jun 16 2006, 07:38 PM) *
The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft has a typical Russian design: rustic and simple in order to save useful weigh[t].

Well, since it's been quite some time since the Russians have had a successful interplanetary mission, we'll see if they can simply pick up where they left off, with a Phobos sample return no less.

Craig Covault has an interesting piece in this week's issue of AW&ST ("Russians Criticize U.S. on Lunar and Planetary Cooperation") where he states:

"Russia is reenergizing its lunar and planetary program with the planned launch of a sample return mission to the Martian moon Phobos and the launch of an ambitious lunar penetrator mission, the first Russian mission to the Moon in 30 years (AW&ST June 5, p. 20). But Russian managers here said the U.S. has shown little or no interest in Russian overtures for collaboration on these flights."

Translation: The Russians are under no illusions that they don't need partners to make these missions work, which is why, in the absence of any firm collaboration agreements, I remain skeptical that, for example, Phobos-Grunt will ever happen, nice graphics and lofty rhetoric notwithstanding.
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RNeuhaus
post Jun 17 2006, 01:40 AM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Jun 16 2006, 07:25 PM) *
But Russian managers here said the U.S. has shown little or no interest in Russian overtures for collaboration on these flights."[/indent]

Why aren't the Americans much interested to work with Russian's overtures? Let suppose that this cooperation will have many advantages for them and also to our mankind:
  1. Saves money.
  2. Interchange of knowledge, technology and experience..
  3. Shorten the development and launch cycle time.
I must admit that the above reason is just an ideal world. At this time and many centuries, we are still going to live with a country's domain barrier in our minds.
QUOTE
Translation: The Russians are under no illusions that they don't need partners to make these missions work, which is why, in the absence of any firm collaboration agreements, I remain skeptical that, for example, Phobos-Grunt will ever happen, nice graphics and lofty rhetoric notwithstanding.

Watch it out that Russian will probably join with others countries willing to work with him. Are ESA interested to work with Russian in returning its project of Phobos-Grunt?
I have the impression that ESA is at the present time not much interested to join with Russians to work on that project unless ESA is more interested on explorating on any Gallilean Moon: Europa.

Rodolfo
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Guest_DonPMitchell_*
post Jun 17 2006, 03:46 AM
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QUOTE (RNeuhaus @ Jun 16 2006, 06:40 PM) *
Why aren't the Americans much interested to work with Russian's overtures? Let suppose that this cooperation will have many advantages for them and also to our mankind:
  1. Saves money.
  2. Interchange of knowledge, technology and experience..
  3. Shorten the development and launch cycle time.


But unfortunately, I don't think any of these benefits would be seen. Russia would not supply a lot of money, they have almost no technology that NASA needs, and international planning could actually complicate development. ESA has needed Russia (or America) to perform interplanetary launches, but I think they also prefer to do things themselves if they can.

The fact that Russia launched Mars Express and Venus Express does indicate they can perform sophisticated tasks. And their Earth-resource and military satellites perform many of the same kinds of manuevers and sensor readings of a planetary probe.

I wish them luck. To be honest, I think international competition is a good thing, it will excite passion and public support for space exploration.
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Jun 19 2006, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE (DonPMitchell @ Jun 17 2006, 03:46 AM) *
The fact that Russia launched Mars Express and Venus Express does indicate they can perform sophisticated tasks. And their Earth-resource and military satellites perform many of the same kinds of manuevers and sensor readings of a planetary probe.

Unlike the case with interplanetary missions, Russia hasn't experienced a 20-year gap in launches, and no one really questions their launch capability. And I'm not sure that operating civilian earth-monitoring or military satellites is really that great an indicator as to whether they can pull off a Phobos sample return.

This post has been edited by AlexBlackwell: Jun 19 2006, 05:59 PM
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Jim from NSF.com
post Jun 19 2006, 07:33 PM
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The Russian design bureau's have habit of proposing missions and giving summaries to the media, when the RSA doesn't have the money to do anything. The Kliper is another example.
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Guest_DonPMitchell_*
post Jun 19 2006, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Jun 19 2006, 10:48 AM) *
Unlike the case with interplanetary missions, Russia hasn't experienced a 20-year gap in launches, and no one really questions their launch capability. And I'm not sure that operating civilian earth-monitoring or military satellites is really that great an indicator as to whether they can pull off a Phobos sample return.


I'm sure NASA could do it. I'd give Russia or ESA about equal likelihood of being able to pull it off. Military and Earth-resource satellites require technology for precise attitude control and orbital maneuvering, which I think would be relevant to a mission like this.
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Jun 19 2006, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE (DonPMitchell @ Jun 19 2006, 08:23 PM) *
I'm sure NASA could do it. I'd give Russia or ESA about equal likelihood of being able to pull it off. Military and Earth-resource satellites require technology for precise attitude control and orbital maneuvering, which I think would be relevant to a mission like this.

I'm sure it would be relevant, if not critical. I guess I'm looking at Phobos-Grunt in totality, not each individual component, which the Russians may or may not have sucessfully demonstrated in analogous situations. In the early stages, there were many who thought Mars Observer was simply going to be a matter of flying a terrestrial weather satellite to Mars. Or that MPL wasn't really that hard because we had already soft-landed on Mars twenty years before.
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tedstryk
post Jun 19 2006, 08:47 PM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Jun 19 2006, 08:32 PM) *
I'm sure it would be relevant, if not critical. I guess I'm looking at Phobos-Grunt in totality, not each individual component, which the Russians may or may not have sucessfully demonstrated in analogous situations. In the early stages, there were many who thought Mars Observer was simply going to be a matter of flying a terrestrial weather satellite to Mars. Or that MPL wasn't really that hard because we had already soft-landed on Mars twenty years before.


I think there is another thing to look at, in terms of ability to pull this mission off. Alex and Don have made posts concerning the technical aspects. But I think a lot of the debate is whether or not, come 2009, there will actually be a launch, or whether the mission dies on paper. I think there is a reasonable chance of this mission actually launching.


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Jun 19 2006, 08:57 PM
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QUOTE (tedstryk @ Jun 19 2006, 08:47 PM) *
I think there is another thing to look at, in terms of ability to pull this mission off. Alex and Don have made posts concerning the technical aspects. But I think a lot of the debate is whether or not, come 2009, there will actually be a launch, or whether the mission dies on paper. I think there is a reasonable chance of this mission actually launching.

I'm not stating absolutely that this mission will never fly. I hope it does. And anything (e.g., the Russians putting together Phobos-Grunt in 36 months) is possible, I guess. However, I need to see a lot more than what has been shown so far before I become a believer. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I've seen the Russians basically chumming the waters for partners with mission concepts and no one has bitten. I don't even think the Russians believe they can pull off the mission alone. If they did, why would they be concerned that, as Covault reports, the U.S. isn't showing enough interest? My fear is that U.S. dollars will be tied up in this effort. I say let the Russians first show they can do it, and if they're successful, then I have no doubt that potential partners will be lining up.
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Guest_DonPMitchell_*
post Jun 19 2006, 09:06 PM
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QUOTE (tedstryk @ Jun 19 2006, 01:47 PM) *
I think there is another thing to look at, in terms of ability to pull this mission off. Alex and Don have made posts concerning the technical aspects. But I think a lot of the debate is whether or not, come 2009, there will actually be a launch, or whether the mission dies on paper. I think there is a reasonable chance of this mission actually launching.


It's certainly something they've wanted to do for a long time.

[attachment=6323:attachment]

Here is a mystery photo for you all. There is something very interesting in this picture. Do you see it?
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