Russians to Test Lander for Phobos Soil Return Mission

Russia's Phobos-Grunt spacecraft

Russia to test unmanned lander for Mars moon mission
RIA Novosti

Russian scientists are due to carry out tests of an unmanned lander that will be used in a 2011 mission to Phobos, one of the moons of Mars.

The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft will be sent to the surface of Phobos and will then fly back to Earth with soil samples.

“The aim of the test is to narrow down the lander’s projected impact location on the surface of the Earth,” a statement by the Central Aerodynamic Institute said.

“As far as the lander…does not include any signaling equipment…narrowing down its projected impact area will make the search for it easier,” the statement added.

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