Sunday, July 31, 2011
As you may remember from a previous post, this is not only a highly ambitious attempt at a sample return from Phobos, but also one of my favorite projects. There have been delays, however, and reasons to worry about the ability of Russia to make this mission happen. For example, their Mars record has been pretty poor. And this is among the most complex missions ever attempted by any nation, terminating in a very small capsule being recovered on Earth. The landing on Phobos will be a great first, and probably the greatest single achievement of the mission. Returning a regolith sample would be icing on the cake.
All images and information from the Planetary Society blog.