Launch of Phobos-Grunt Spacecraft & Yinghuo-1 Space Probe
A Zenit-2FG rocket launched the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft at 20:16 UTC today, November 8th 2011 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Fobus-Grunt is a sample return mission to Phobos, One of the moons of Mars. The spacecraft is expected to reach Mars’ orbit in September 2012, With a landing on Phobos scheduled for February 2013. The vehicle will then return up to 200 grams of soil from Phobos in August 2014. The Mars space probe Yinghuo-1 was also onboard the Zenit rocket. It is the first Chinese spacecraft to explore Mars, It will orbit Mars for around 2 years studying the planets surface, atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetic field.
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