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Phobos 1

artist concept of Phobos mission at Phobos with Mars in the background
Credit: Michael Carroll

* Mission Overview

The Phobos 1 mission was launched on 7 July 1988 from Baykonur Cosmodrome. The primary objective of the mission, as with its sister probe Phobos 2, was to explore the larger of Mars' two moons, Phobos. In addition to instrumentation to explore the Martian satellites, Phobos 1 also carried instruments to study the Sun, Mars, the interplanetary medium, and gamma-ray burst sources.

The Phobos 1 spacecraft was lost enroute to Mars after a faulty command sequence was sent from Earth caused the spacecraft to shut down. The shut down occurred on 2 September 1988.

* Instrumentation

Originally, both Phobos spacecraft were to carry identical instrument payloads. Mass limitations required some tradeoffs so that certain instruments were carried by only one spacecraft. Phobos 1 carried a total of 25 instruments. Of those, a few were high energy detectors. A diagram of the Phobos instrumentation is included in the Phobos images ( page.

  • APEX Gamma-ray emission spectrometer.
  • LILAS Low-energy gamma-ray burst detector.
  • RF-15 X-ray spectrometer.
  • VGS High-energy gamma-ray burst detector.

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