An anonymous reader writes "Russia is hoping to launch its Phobos-Grunt spacecraft today in a bid to collect Moondust from the surface of Mars‘ larger moon named Phobos. Both China and the Planetary Society are piggybacking Phobos-Grunt with their own equipment and experiments.
For China, Phobos-Grunt is the means of transport for its Yinghuo-1 satellite destined to orbit Mars for at least 2 years. Once there, it will feedback information on the upper atmosphere of the planet and the space environment around it.
The Planetary Society will have a canister placed on board Phobos-Grunt called Phobos LIFE. Inside the canister will live millions of organisms consisting of bacteria, eukaryota, and archaea. The idea of the LIFE project is to see if the organisms, and therefore life, can survive extended periods in space, and if so, proving that life could be transported inside meteoroids."
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