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Mission profile

Overview of the mission

Phobos-Soil is an unmanned mission of the Russian Federal Space Agency that will land on the Martian moon and return a soil sample to Earth. Also known as "Phobos-Grunt" or "Fobos-Grunt" ("grunt" being the Russian word meaning soil or dirt), or "PhSRM" for Phobos Sample Return Mission. It will also study Mars from orbit, including its atmosphere and dust storms, plasma and radiation environment. It is currently scheduled to be launched November 2011 on a Zenit launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage. The return vehicle is scheduled to arrive back on Earth in August 2014. 

Mission control will be the Russian Center for Deep Space Communications.

Launch and transfer into the interplanetary trajectory

The spacecraft will be launched from Baikonur and will be inserted into a 207 x 347 km elliptical based orbit with the inclination 51,4 degrees. The launch be made at 8 November 2011.

After 2.5 hours flight (1.7 revolutions) at this based orbit the main propulsion system will be switch on to transfer the spacecraft into the elliptical orbit (250 km x 4150...4170 km), period 2,2 hours. After 2.1 hours (1 revolutions) 2-nd engine burn will transfer the spacecraft into an interplanetary Earth-Mars trajectory. Scheme of the insertion of the spacecraft into interplanetary trajectory is presented in fig. 1a.

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