18 April 2012
Russia’s space agency Roscosmos on Tuesday backed an initiative to give the Phobos-Grunt project a second chance.
Phobos-Grunt probe, launched on November 9, was designed to bring back rock and soil samples from the Martian moon Phobos. However, it was stuck in a so-called support orbit after its engines failed to put it on course for the Red Planet. The doomed probe crashed down in the Pacific Ocean on January 15 after two months in orbit.
“We’ve backed it [a proposal from the institute of space studies on the Phobos-2 project]. We agree with their position. This will be reflected in the strategy [for space development until 2030],” Roscosmos Chief Vladimir Popovkin said.
The new project will not be a simple repeat of Phobos-Grunt 1, Popovkin said.