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Launch of research spaceship to Mars should be repeated

January 24, 2012, 11:32 UTC+3

New station may be launched to the Mars in 2018, academician Lev Zeleny said

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MOSCOW, January 24 (Itar-Tass) — The launch of a research spaceship to the Mars should be repeated. This proposal is not only in favour of the interests of science, but also some considerations that failures should be overcome with new deeds and new victories, Director the Institute of Space Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Academician Lev Zeleny said in comments on a new RAS initiative to Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

RAS sent a letter to the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) that insisted the Phobos-Grunt project is unique. “A major amount of work was done for the project, scientists and designers have done a huge amount of work and introduced innovations. We cannot refuse from all these developments over the Phobos-Grunt failure,” Zeleny commented on the letter.

“All space agencies do so. This was and remains our traditions. The failures should be overcome with new ambitious successful undertakings,” he noted.

Meanwhile, no breakdown can undermine scientific interest to the Martian satellite Phobos. The choice of the satellite as an object for exploration was not accidental, Zeleny said. The Martian closest satellite has a very low density that is only 1.8 times higher than the water density. This is why scientists believed before that the satellite is empty inside. “The delivery of the Phobos ground samples to the Earth will make it possible to find to what type of celestial bodies this small planet belongs – to asteroids or it was some part of the Mars some time ago,” Zeleny pointed out.

The academician noted that a new station may be launched to the Mars in 2018. “This is the most suitable date in terms of ballistics, the situation in the production industry, particularly the Lavochkin research-and-production centre,” Zeleny remarked.

The tasks of a new mission should remain the same as for the abortive interplanetary station Phobos-Grunt. “The station should get to Phobos, take ground samples and bring them to the Earth,” Zeleny said. However, a new station should be less sophisticated, he said. “The Phobos project will keep the main elements, but we will seek to make it simpler. The station should be unloaded slightly,” the scientist noted.

However, no decision was taken about a new experiment. “No decision was taken about the preparations for a new launch,” Zeleny said. “We intend to deliver a new spaceship to the Mars. We have some possibilities to do this. But certainly this will require some money,” he said.

The scientist noted that the decision about a next mission should be made already this year for the mission to be made in 2018.




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