BAIKONUR, November 14 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia does not intend to abandon its scientific space programmes even in case of failure of the Phobos-Grunt mission, Roscosmos Federal Space Agency head Vladimir Popovkin told reporters on Monday.
"We are revising our federal space programmes to increase the share of scientific and applied space. It means increasing of the finances by redistributing the resources from other programmes," he said.
The main goal of the Phobos-Grunt mission is to deliver samples of soil from Mars' moon Phobos.
The interplanetary station was launched with the Zenit-2SB rocket from Baikonur on November 9. The station was put into a low earth orbit, from where it was to move with its own engine system to the path to Mars. For some reasons unknown so far, the control system failed to give the command for the first propulsion start.
According to Popovkin, the spacecraft will remain in orbit until next February. However, the period during which specialists still can attempt to reanimate the station will end in early December.