Russia delays joint Chinese Mars moon mission | Shanghai Daily

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Russia delays joint Chinese Mars moon mission

RUSSIA has pushed back its Mars moon probe mission until 2011, delaying the joint launch of China's first Mars probe Yinhuo-1.

Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, said yesterday that Russia's flagship satellite mission to Mars' biggest moon had been delayed to the next launch period in 2011 to better prepare the mission.

China's Yinhuo-1 was scheduled to ride with the Russian-made Phobos-Grunt lander on its 380-million-kilometer journey to the red planet's biggest moon.

Yinhuo-1 was shipped to Moscow this August and was due to be launched between October 6 and October 16, when conditions are most favorable, according to Meng Xin, the project's chief engineer.

Perminov cited the recommendation of Russian Academy of Science saying that the Russian lander still needs to perfect its soil collection methods.

He added that Russia also couldn't ensure stable communications with the probe if it launched now.

Meanwhile, China is also preparing to fly solo on its own Mars probe mission, according to Ye Peijian, the chief designer of China's first moon Lander. He said the best chance for China's solo Mars mission would be in 2013.



 

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