Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Russians Plan Mission to Phobos

No question about it, the Russians are fascinated with Mars' moon Phobos and it would seem not without good reason.

The Russian space program has plans to visit the diminutive satellite some time around 2020 to hopefully solve some very nagging questions about the moon's makeup. 

One of the most nagging questions concerning Phobos is it's extremely low density.  Scientists have speculated that the low density is due to ice in its interior or possibly  is it due to Phobos being completely fragmented. A huge pile of rubble with voids throughout the moon.  

A recent study showed that the surface of Phobos contains tons of dust, soil, and rock blown off the Martian surface by large projectile impacts. Phobos, it would appear, has been  gathering Martian debris for millions of years.

The Phobos mission also has a goal of returning Mars surface material to Earth, but this is not the first time the Russian space program has attempted to do so.   The Russian mission will be the space agency's second attempt to return a sample from Phobos.  The first try was launched in 2011, but an engine failure stranded the spacecraft in Earth orbit.

Read the complete The Daily Galaxy article HERE

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