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Fobos 1
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Fobos 1
Fobos 1 Mission to Mars

Mission Type: Lander, Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: 8K82K + Blok D-2 (Proton-K no. 356-02 / Blok D-2 no. 2L)
Launch Site: NIIP-5 / launch site 200L
Spacecraft Mass: 6,220 kg
Spacecraft Instruments:
Planetary studies:
1) VSK videospectrometric system
2) ISM infrared spectrometer
3) GS-14 gamma-emission spectrometer
4) IPNM neutron detector
5) RLK radar system
6) LIMA-D laser mass spectrometric analyzer
7) DION secondary ion mass analyzer
8) ISO optical radiation spectrometer
Plasma studies:
1) MAGMA magnetometer
2) FGMM magnetometer
3) APV-F plasma wave analyzer
4) ASPERA scanning energy-mass spectrometer
5) SOVIKOMS energy-mass charge spectrometer
6) TAUS proton and alpha-particle spectrometer
7) HARP ion and electron spectrometer
8) SLED energetic charged-particle spectrometer
Solar studies:
1) IPHIR solar photometer
2) TEREK solar telescope/coronograph
3) RF-15 x-ray photometer
4) SUFR ultrasound spectrometer
5) LILAS gamma-burst spectrometer
6) VGS gamma-burst spectrometer
References:
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, by Asif A. Siddiqi, NASA Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24


Fobos 1 and 2 were part of an ambitious mission to Mars and its 27-km-diameter moon Phobos that was the culmination of a decade-long program of development. Each spacecraft comprised a Mars Orbiter for long-term studies of the planet and a Long-Term Automated Lander (DAS) that would land on Phobos to study its geological and climatic conditions.

After each spacecraft entered orbit around Mars, it would make close flybys of Phobos, sample surface material using an innovative onboard laser spectrometer, and also deploy the Lander. Laser beams would prepare small samples of material for analysis.

Each spacecraft, with a newly designed bus, carried twenty-four experiments provided by thirteen countries and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Fobos 1 performed a course correction en route to Mars on 16 July 1988. On 29 August 1988, due to a programming error, a command was issued to turn off the orientation and stabilization system (instead of a routine command to switch on the gamma-ray spectrometer). As a result, the spacecraft lost proper solar orientation and began to lose power. There was no word from Fobos 1 at the next scheduled communications session on 2 September. Continuing attempts to establish contact failed, and on 3 November 1988, the Soviets officially announced that there would be no further attempts at contact. The spacecraft flew by Mars without entering orbit (scheduled for 23 January 1989) and eventually entered heliocentric orbit.

Editor's Note: This mission profile was adapted from an originally published mission profile in Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, by Asif A. Siddiqi, NASA Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24.


Key Dates
7 Jul 1988:  Launch
3 Nov 1988:  End of Mars Mission
Status: Contact Lost
Fast Facts
Fobos 1 Facts Contact was lost with the Fobos 1 before it ever reached Mars orbit or its moon Phobos (right).

Fobos 1 carried twenty-four experiments provided by thirteen countries and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Both Fobos 1 and its sister mission, Fobos 2, failed to complete their missions. However, Fobos 2 did succeed in taking pictures of Mars' moon.
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Last Updated: 10 Dec 2010