Russia wants to send probe to Mars moon Interfax

A unique probe, which Russian scientists have designed for studying Phobos [a Mars moon], will be launched in 2009, a representative of the Babakin Center Viktor Kudryashov told Interfax on Monday. “It is a priority of the Russian federal space program. The probe will be launched aboard a Soyuz medium-class rocket from Baikonur,” he said. The mission’s aim is to gather Phobos ground samples which will then be returned to Earth for analysis, Kudryashov said.