At 3:16 pm EST today, Russia will launch the Phobos-Grunt mission from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The unmanned probe is traveling to the Martian moon Phobos, in an attempt to bring back the first soil sample ("grunt" is Russian for "soil") from the smaller of the planet's moons. The irregularly shaped Phobos is the closest moon to its planet in the solar system, orbiting the red planet at just under 10,000 kilometers.The mission is a chance to study how planets and moons form.
The Russians are teaching the Americans an important lesson in capitalism: where there’s high demand for a scarce commodity, costs will rise. NASA and its Russian counterpart inked a new $753 million modification to its current International Space Station transportation deal Monday, securing seats on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft from 2014 to 2016 at a price of almost $63 million per seat. The old contract, which runs until 2014, reserves seats on the Soyuz for just $56 million.
It's official—the company that brokered the first tourist flights to the International Space Station is now a major world player in manned spaceflight
By Michael BelfiorePosted 06.11.2008 at 1:04 pm 1 Comment
Space Adventures, the broker of the first tourist flights to space celebrated its ten-year anniversary today here at the Explorer's Club in New York with the announcement that it had scored a deal with the Russian Federal Space Agency, or RKA, to buy an entire flight to the International Space Station.