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Russia To Probe Major Planets Before 2023

File image: Phobos
by Staff Writers
Moscow (XNA) Feb 28, 2011
Russia will launch probes to several planets and their satellites, Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said Thursday.

The probes are expected to study the moon and the Martian satellite Phobos, as parts of a dozen of projects in astrophysical and solar research before 2023, Roscosmos said.

The federal space program stipulates five planetary research projects by 2015, including research on Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. In addition, a lunar surface probe also will be sent to study the Moon, Roscosmos said.

A total of 9.6 billion rubles (327 million U.S. dollars) have been assigned from 2006 to 2011 for the projects and the development of instruments for the Mars-Surveyor research vehicle.

Roscosmos also plans 10 projects for solar research and the Sun-Earth interconnection, with 8.4 billion rubles (286 million dollars) allocated in 2006-2011. Six more projects will start between 2014 to 2020.

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Northern Mars Landscape Actively Changing
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 07, 2011
Sand dunes in a vast area of northern Mars long thought to be frozen in time are changing with both sudden and gradual motions, according to research using images from a NASA orbiter. These dune fields cover an area the size of Texas in a band around the planet at the edge of Mars' north polar cap. The new findings suggest they are among the most active landscapes on Mars. However, f ... read more

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