Russia to retry failed Mars mission

April 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

MOSCOW, April 17 (UPI) -- Russia says it will mount another attempt at a Mars mission similar to the Phobos-Grunt probe that failed to head toward the Red Planet in November.

The Roscosmos Space Agency announced Tuesday it was backing an initiative to give the Phobos-Grunt project a second chance, RIA Novosti reported.

The Phobos-Grunt probe was meant to bring back samples from Mars' moon Phobos, but a failure of its engines meant it could not leave a so-called support orbit, and the probe eventually crashed back to Earth, landing in the Pacific Ocean after two months in orbit.

"We've backed it [a proposal from the institute of space studies on the Phobos-2 project]. We agree with their position. This will be reflected in the strategy [for space development until 2030]," Roscosmos Chief Vladimir Popovkin said.

The new project would be more than just an identical repeat of Phobos-Grunt 1, Popovkin said.

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