Russia to send new mission to Mars' moon Phobos in 2022
"We plan to return to Phobos in 2022. This mission will act as a kind of stepping stone for similar international programs," Zelyony said at a Solar System symposium on Tuesday.
Russia's previous mission to the Martian moon Phobos, dubbed Phobos-Grunt, launched successfully on November 9, 2011, but then ceased operating for no discernable reason once it reached orbit.
The first Phobos-Grunt interplanetary mission was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on November 9, 2011, but subsequent rocket burns intended to set the craft on a course for Mars failed.
Phobos-Grunt crashed into the Pacific Ocean on January 16, 2012, after two months of unsuccessful attempts to restore contact with the rover and switch on its engines.
The vehicle was intended to have returned to the Earth carrying soil samples from the Martian moon Phobos in August 2014.
Unofficial reports estimated the cost of the project at approximately five billion rubles.
Voice of Russia, Interfax