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Phobos-Grunt
tedstryk
post Jan 22 2005, 02:15 PM
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In Astronomy's February issue, they report that Russia has approved funding for the Phobos-Grunt mission. Design work has gone on since 1997, and the new design is scaled down to fly an a Soyuz rocket instead of the larger Proton. The main purpose is similar to Phobos-2, with the addition of a sample return. Also being discussed is the possibility of it carrying a few "meteorological stations" fof Mars itself. Generally, I have written this mission off as "never going to happen," but with the new Russian alliance with ESA, I wonder if they might be able to actually fly this thing. Also, with Putin's increasingly Soviet-style leadership, and with the likelyhood of lunar missions from China and India, Russian pride might drive this mission. If so, I have a concern. This mission sounds really, really ambitious. And the Russians have never even sent a fully successful Mars orbiter, and that is when they launched them in pairs or triplets. Still, if the mission flies, even if it doesn't bring back Phobos soil it might obtain some interesting results. Here is ESA's Phobos-Grunt page:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ESA_Permanent_...IJFW4QWD_0.html

Also, ESA has another page on potential Russian programs, although this seem to be nothing but pipe dreams at the moment. Would be a cool mission though.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ESA_Permanent_...0LFW4QWD_0.html

And also a page on the only partially realized current Russian project, its program to put instruments on other's spacecraft, such as HEND on Odyssey.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ESA_Permanent_...HMFW4QWD_0.html


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SFJCody
post Jan 22 2005, 02:58 PM
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There's a pdf document on these speculative missions here:


RussianProgram
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SFJCody
post Feb 2 2005, 10:42 AM
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About the project

Phobos-Grunt scheme of expedition

Phobos Grunt vehicle

MAIN BELT ASTEROID MISSIONS WITH LOW THRUST AND GRAVITY ASSIST OF MARS


Марс-Фобос-Грунт
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tedstryk
post Feb 2 2005, 01:07 PM
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That is some pretty interesting stuff. Back in the 80's, when our planetary program (other than already flying projects like Viking, Voyager, PVO, and ICE) wasn't flying any new spacecraft, the Soviets were the only major game in town. They spent the early part of the decade studying Venus (including the landers and the balloons), contributed a major component of the Halley flotilla, and then went to Mars with the Phobos mission. The Phobos spacecraft were the first of a new plan for exploration that included missions very similar to the Fortuna mission in that literature. They included balloons, rovers, and orbiters for Mars, and, yes, Phobos-Grunt (a much more sophisticated version). There was also an advanced Venera program. There was a great article sometime in 1988 in Astronomy about it. Then, of course, after the first of these new missions launched (Phobos '88), the whole Soviet system crumbled. Mars '96 (Which would have been Mars '90 - the original Mars'96 plan was a veritable Battlestar Galactica with rovers, balloons, and landers) managed to peter along and make it to the launchpad but was unlucky enough to have a bad upper stage on its launch vehicle. Phobos-Grunt, scaled down to fly on a Soyuz instead of a larger Proton rocket, was the only mission for which real design work continued. They have periodically presented other missions, both on their websites and at conferences, such as Venera-D and various asteroid missions, but I think they are generally sales-pitches in hopes of international funding which would be needed to fly them. Phobos-Grunt is the only mission that the Russian parliament and Putin have actually agreed to fund. That is why I take it more seriously. Putin feels threatened by Bush's Moon-Mars plan, and a Phobos sample return mission in 2009 would be a great way to upstage MSL. Of course, one has to hope that Russian space technology has improved...This mission will have to be longer lived than previous Russian spacecraft. But it has great potential.


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 14 2005, 07:07 PM
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An interesting tidbit from Tony Reichhardt's News article in the December 15, 2005, issue of Nature:

"Russia's long-suffering space scientists had reason to celebrate last week as a generous funding increase was approved for the national space agency, giving hope to missions that have long been on hold.

[...]

"One such mission, called Phobos-Grunt, now seems to be on track to launch in 2009. It will head for the martian moon Phobos, where it will land and collect a soil sample before returning to Earth. The mission has been scaled down it will use conventional propulsion and launch on a Soyuz rocket, instead of the more expensive Proton but it should still manage to land 45 kilograms of scientific instrumentation on Phobos.

"Spacecraft engineers at the Moscow-based Lavochkin Association are laying plans for an ambitious mission called Luna-Glob, which would deliver an orbiter and a network of instruments to the Moon for geophysical studies. This mission would probably get funding only after Phobos-Grunt is well under way, says [Mikhail] Marov [of the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics in Moscow]."

References:

Budget boost gets Russia back in the space game
Tony Reichhardt
Nature 438, 896 (2005)
doi:10.1038/438896b
Full Text

==================

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I'll only say that I'll believe in this mission when I see it. I was at an International Astronautical Congress in Toulouse, France, a few years back when a presentation for this mission was given by individuals from the Moscow Aviation Insititute and the Lavochkin Association. None of the others present who heard the presentation believed it would ever happen, at least not without involvement from the U.S. or Europe. In fact, a few "western space professionals" laughed outright, and one said "they're [the Russians] just looking for outside support."

Having said that, I hope it does come off, given that the Aladdin concept never made the downselect in a couple of Discovery solicitations, and especially if Gulliver never gets selected as a future Discovery mission. Indeed, I think both Phobos and Deimos get short changed in the U.S. and European Mars exploration architectures.

This post has been edited by AlexBlackwell: Dec 14 2005, 07:38 PM
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ljk4-1
post Dec 14 2005, 07:31 PM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Dec 14 2005, 02:07 PM)
Having said that, I hope it does come off, given that the Aladdin concept never made the downselect in a couple of Discovery solicitations, and especially if Gulliver never gets selected as a future Discovery mission.  Indeed, I think both Phobos and Deimos get short changed in the U.S. and European Mars exploration architectures.
*


Ah, Gulliver! The name of a relatively simple lander planned for Mars back in the 1960s that would have shot out sticky strings to pull in some surface samples for analysis.

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mars-life-03l.html

Question: Going on what we know about the Martian surface now and remembering the data from Viking, had Gulliver happened, would the scientists have concluded at the time that they did indeed find life on Mars?


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indeed much harder than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have
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ElkGroveDan
post Dec 14 2005, 07:37 PM
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Let's hope they keep away from the Lipovitan-D.


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 14 2005, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Dec 14 2005, 07:37 PM)
Let's hope they keep away from the Lipovitan-D.
*

Or its variant - "Lilliputian-D" tongue.gif
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Decepticon
post Dec 14 2005, 10:27 PM
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I say they rename the probe Mars-Lipovitan-D04A
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Bob Shaw
post Dec 14 2005, 11:32 PM
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QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Dec 14 2005, 08:31 PM)
Ah, Gulliver!  The name of a relatively simple lander planned for Mars back in the 1960s that would have shot out sticky strings to pull in some surface samples for analysis.

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mars-life-03l.html

Question:  Going on what we know about the Martian surface now and remembering the data from Viking, had Gulliver happened, would the scientists have concluded at the time that they did indeed find life on Mars?
*



From what I can tell, Gulliver was slated to be one of the Advanced Mariner experiments - certainly, the illustration in Gatland's 'Unmanned Spaceflight' appears to be of the Philco Lander. And I doubt it'd have coped well in the search for life!

Bobn Shaw


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Guest_BruceMoomaw_*
post Dec 15 2005, 01:14 AM
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The life detector on Gulliver was none other than Gilbert Levin's instrument -- so, had they flown that alone, there would certainly have been a tidal wave of "Life Found on Mars!" headlines that might have proven just a teensy bit premature.
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Toma B
post Dec 15 2005, 07:21 AM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Dec 14 2005, 10:07 PM)
.......At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I'll only say that I'll believe in this mission when I see it.......
*

So it will be a scaled down version of "Phobos"...

Attached Image

I can still remember high expectations of that spacecraft...Mars orbiter, Phobos landing etc...
In the end; Phobos-1 was lost before it even reached Mars and Phobos-2 took "staggering amount of information including 38 images"...same basic design was again used on Mars-96 but it never had a chance to see Mars....
Russia (CCCP) has yet to score first successful mission to Mars...
As said above I'll believe it when I see it...
Wish them good luck anyway.


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My "Astrophotos" gallery on flickr...
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Guest_Richard Trigaux_*
post Dec 15 2005, 09:45 AM
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I think that if the Russians are coming to an end of their economic difficulties and come back on stage for space exploration, everybody should be happy.
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tedstryk
post Dec 15 2005, 01:49 PM
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QUOTE (Richard Trigaux @ Dec 15 2005, 09:45 AM)
I think that if the Russians are coming to an end of their economic difficulties and come back on stage for space exploration, everybody should be happy.
*


I hope so. In the past, budgeted money has not been delivered...I hope hthey go through with this. It is a shame Phobos 2 did not return more images. One thing forgotten is that its main transmitter failed before arrival, so kind of like Galileo (though not as severe, Phobos-2 couldn't use compression like Galileo), Phobos 2 had great difficulty returning large data products.


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ljk4-1
post Dec 15 2005, 02:25 PM
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QUOTE (Toma B @ Dec 15 2005, 02:21 AM)
So it will be a scaled down version of "Phobos"...

Attached Image

I can still remember high expectations of that spacecraft...Mars orbiter, Phobos landing etc...
In the end; Phobos-1 was lost before it even reached Mars and Phobos-2 took "staggering amount of information including 38 images"...same basic design was again used on Mars-96 but it never had a chance to see Mars....   
Russia (CCCP) has yet to score first successful mission to Mars...
As said above I'll believe it when I see it...
Wish them good luck anyway.
*


While the Soviets never had a fully successful mission to Mars, they did have partial successes, and they did land the first spacecraft on the planet, even if they did all go bye-bye prematurely. Of course none of them returned nearly as much data and images as the US missions.


--------------------
"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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