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Phobos Grunt. The Mission That Failed. The Planetary Society of India. What is Phobos Grunt?. Phobos -Grunt is an attempted Russian sample return mission to Phobos , one of the moons of Mars. ‘Grunt’ means Ground in Russian.  Phobos Grunt Space Craft. Launch of phobos Grunt.

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Phobos Grunt

The Mission That Failed

The Planetary Society of India

What is Phobos Grunt?

Phobos-Grunt is an attempted Russian sample return mission to Phobos, one of the moons of Mars. ‘Grunt’ means Ground in Russian.

 Phobos Grunt Space Craft

Launch of phobos Grunt

It was launched on 8 November 2011 from the BaikonurCosmodrome, Kazakhstan.


Phobos Grunt was sent to study the atmosphere and dust storms, plasma and radiation of Mars from orbit. Its mission also included landing on Phobos and returning a soil sample from Phobos to Earth using a sample return vehicle.

Seven Scientific Goals

Set For Phobos Grunt

•Delivery of samples of Phobos soil to Earth for scientific research

•In situ and remote studies of Phobos

•Monitoring the atmospheric behavior of Mars

•Studies of the vicinity of Mars

•Study of the origin of the Martian satellites

•Study of the role played by asteroid impacts in the formation of terrestrial planets

•Search for possible past or present life

What happened to

Phobos Grunt After Launch?

Subsequent rocket burns intended to set the craft on a course for Mars failed, leaving it stranded in low Earth orbit.

Total Budget of Phobos Grunt

The cost of the spacecraft was 1.5 billion rubles or $64.4 million. Project funding for the timeframe 2009–2012, including post-launch operations is about 2.4 billion rubles. Total cost of the mission is 5 billion rubles or $163 million.


The Chinese Mars probe Yinghuo-1 was sent together with Phobos-Grunt.

 Yinghuo-1

Where Is Phobos Grunt Now?

It is stranded in low-earth orbit. Pieces of the spacecraft have begun breaking off and re-entering the atmosphere.

Broken Pieces of Phobos Grunt Reentering Earth

What Will Happen To Phobos Grunt?

Phobos Grunt will fall back to the earth. The probe is expected to reenter earth on January 15, 2012.

Crashing Site

The reentry zone has not been predicted yet.

threat to the world

There are 7.5 tonnes of highly toxic hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide on board. This is fuel intended for the space craft's upper stage. This fuel poses a high risk to people and environment because of its highly toxic nature.

Will The Toxic Fuel Reach The Earth?

Scientists speculate that the fuel might burn out on reentry in the atmosphere and not reach the ground at all.

Will The Parts of Phobos Grunt

Reach The Earth?

While some scientists are arguing that the space craft will not burn out in the atmosphere during reentry and that parts of Phobos Grunt will fall on earth and cause damage, Roscosmos (the Russian Space Agency) maintains that parts of Phobos Grunt hitting the ground is unlikely.

Why Should We Worry?

Although Roscos has not confirmed it, scientists around the world fear Phobos Grunt could come crashing down and spill tons of highly toxic fuel on Earth.

Phobos Grunt is now being called “The most dangerous object to fall from orbit”.

This presentation is only for making people aware of the threat that Phobos Grunt poses to the earth. It is not intended to cause panic in people. Stay tuned to the news for updates.

Presentation Made By threat that

Vennela Krishna


Planetary Society of India