Earth Critters Hitch Ride to Martian Moon and Back
No one knows if there is life on Mars, but if all goes well with a Russian science mission later this year, there will be life on the Martian moon Phobos — for a short time anyway.
An assortment of critters and microbes are scheduled to make a round-trip journey to Phobos as passengers aboard a Russian spacecraft, scheduled to launch in October.
The mission, called Phobos-Grunt, aims to return samples of the Martian moon to Earth for analysis. It will be the first Russian-led mission to Mars since the loss of the Phobos 1 and Phobos 2 probes in 1988 and the botched launch of the Mars 96 spacecraft.
“I wish them luck,” said University of Colorado planetary scientist Larry Esposito, who was a science team member on two of the failed Russian missions.
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