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    Russia Plans to Send Capsule With Microorganisms to Mars - Biomedical Institute

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    Russian scientists plan to send a capsule containing microorganisms to Mars' natural satellite Phobos and then get it back to Earth in order to study the possible mutations during the space flight, Natalya Novikova, the head of the microbiology laboratory at the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Sputnik.

    The project will be carried out as part of the Bumerang mission, which reproduces Russia's attempted Fobos-Grunt mission.

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    "Now as part of the Bumerang project — a repetition of the Fobos-Grunt mission — it is planned to do a new experiment with sending to Mars and returning back a capsule with microorganisms," Novikova said.

    In November 2011, Russia attempted to launch Fobos-Grunt mission to Mars, however, after moving into the orbit the spacecraft did not manage to start its engines. Two months later, it reentered Earth's atmosphere and fell into the Pacific Ocean. The Fobos-Grunt project also provided for sending a capsule with microorganisms to Mars, with the experiment dubbed Biofobos.

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