‘Fobos-Grunt spacecraft has been compiled and sent to the vibration test. A couple of weeks it will be shaken to simulate extreme space conditions’, said M. Martynov, Deputy General Designer of NPO Lavochkin.
Fobos-Grunt is an unmanned lander, that will study Phobos and then return a soil sample to Earth. It will also study Mars from orbit, including its atmosphere and dust storms, plasma and radiation. It is currently scheduled to be launched in November 2011 on a Zenit rocket launcher with a Fregat upper stage. The return vehicle is scheduled back to Earth on August 2014.