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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Russia Launching Probe to Sample Mars' Moon Phobos Today

• Space

Russia is set to launch a robotic spacecraft to the Mars moon Phobos today (Nov. 8), marking the nation's first attempt at an interplanetary mission in 15 years.

The Phobos-Grunt mission is slated to blast off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome at 3:16 p.m. EST today (2016 GMT; 12:16 a.m. local time on Nov. 9). The main goal is to grab some dirt from Phobos' surface and return the samples to Earth in 2014 ("grunt" means "soil" in Russian).