Russian spacecraft on its way to Phobos DLR

On 8 November at 21:16 CET (02:16 on 9 November, local time) the Russian Phobos-Grunt (Phobos Soil) spacecraft began its journey to Mars on board a Zenit-2 rocket that lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft is expected to land on the Martian moon Phobos in February 2013, where it will collect samples of the surface and return these to Earth in a capsule in August 2014. Phobos-Grunt is the first Russian spacecraft to be launched beyond Earth’s orbit since 1996.