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.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.