Authentic  Russian Phobos Mars Spacecraft Model
Part of the International Space Collection of  HighTechScience.org

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This is a hand made
resin and enamel  model
of the Russian
Phobos TSUP spacecraft.

It is an authentic piece
of Russian Space History.

It measures 11.5 x 9 inches and was originally made for the Soviet Space Flight Control Center for a 1988 International Mars project.

The model
has hundreds of
miniscule details
and is the result of
several months of work.

    The Phobos Mars mission was an ambitious plan to launch 2 similar spacecraft not only to orbit the planet Mars, but to rendezvous with Mars's moon - Phobos. The plan was, for the 2 spacecraft to initially orbit Mars, and then gradually alter their orbits over several months to allow a rendezvous with the moon Phobos to take place. As the spacecraft would fly by Phobos, the plan was for them to drop a number of surface probes onto the moon Phobos from the incredibly close altitude of 50 meters.
This image was taken by the Phobos-2 spacecraft in March of 1989 shortly before the spacecraft failed.

    The Phobos-2 mission was launched on 12 July 1988 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The primary objective of the mission, as with its sister probe Phobos 1, was to explore the larger of Mars' two moons, Phobos. In addition to instrumentation to explore the Martian satellites, Phobos 2 also carried instruments to study the Sun, Mars, the interplanetary medium, and gamma-ray burst sources.

    The Phobos-2 spacecraft arrived at Mars on January 30, 1989, but was lost while maneuvering in the Martian orbit. The loss was traced to either a failure of the on-board computer or of the radio transmitter (which was already operating on the backup power system).

The Phobos 1 and 2 spacecraft were nearly identical. The four round tanks under the body of the probe contained propellant to power thrusters for attitude control and to adjust its orbit.

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