The final spacecraft created by the Soviet Union was named Phobos 2. Its purpose was to investigate Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos. It was put into orbit on January 29th, 1989, after its launch on July 12th, 1988. On January 29, 1989, Phobos 2 gathered information on the Sun, interstellar medium, Mars, and Phobos during its sail and Mars orbital incision stages. With a settlement of up to 40 meters, Phobos 2’s investigation of Mars’ atmosphere and surface produced 37 pictures of Phobos.
Communication with Phobos 2 was lost just before the project’s conclusion, when the space probe was supposed to come within 50 meters of Phobos’ surface and release two landers (one was a portable hopper, while the other was a static platform) On March 27, 1989, the spacecraft signal could not be effectively bought back, bringing the mission to a climax. The onboard machine problem was found to be the root of the issue.
On November 14, 1984, it was first announced that a project with Phobos as the goal would be carried out. In order to prevent straight going to compete with earlier American missions, Phobos was selected as the bullseye. Initially scheduled for 1986, the launch was subsequently postponed to 1988.
The Soviet Union sent two probes as part of the Phobos program, which was an unpiloted mission to mars to research Mars and its moons, Phobos and Deimos. Both Phobos 1 and Phobos 2 were launched on Proton-K rockets on July 7, 1988, and July 12, 1988, respectively. Phobos 1 and 2 were based on a fresh space probe design, replacing the 4MV type employed in the Venera orbital missions of 1975–1985 and the 5VK design once used during the Vega 1 and Vega 2 operations to Comet Halley. Phobos 1 experienced an end failure while traveling to Mars. Phobos 2 reached Mars orbit, but communication was lost just before the final stage, prior to the operation of the scheduled Phobos space probes.
Each weighed 2600 kilograms (6220 kilograms with orbital insertion equipment connected). 14 other countries, along with Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, France, West Germany, and the United States, collaborated on the plan, which helped record the twin space probe by using its NASA Deep Space Network. The Phobos missions had the following goals: investigate the interstellar atmosphere; observe the Sun; classify the plasma climate nearby; investigate Mars’ texture and atmosphere; and investigate the Phobos satellite’s surface composition.
A pressurized toroidal electronic parts section and a customizable cylindrical test section made up the spacecraft’s central part. 4 circular tanks (the Fregat phase) comprising hydrazine were fixed beneath these for orbital modification and attitude control after the power-producing unit was to be ejected. The globular tanks were equipped with a sum of 28 propulsion systems (24 50 N and 4 10 N), with extra thrusters positioned on the space probe body and solar cells. A 3-axis control system was used to preserve the ship’s attitude, and detectors for the Sun and stars were used to keep the direction of travel.
Phobos 2 was initiated from the Space center on July 12, 1988, just above a Proton-K with something like a Blok D upper stage, and it managed to enter Mars orbit on January 29, 1989. On January 29, 1989, Phobos 2 ran normally during the ship and Mars orbital penetration phases, gathering information on the Sun, the interstellar medium, Mars, and Phobos. Phobos 2 returned 37 images of Phobos with a resolution of up to 40 meters as it explored Mars’s surface and surroundings. Before a Phobos lander was supposed to be deployed, interactions were dropped.
During the probe’s interstellar phases of flight, Phobos 2 began to encounter issues. 2 of the craft’s 3 computers were malfunctioning by the time it entered Mars’ orbit. One of the computer systems was functionally useless, and the other was showing signs of trouble. A single functioning system would not be able to override the votes of two dead computers in the probe’s voting system, which prevented it from controlling the craft. The high-speed transponder on the craft had problems as well. With the help of the Videospectrometric Camera, the Coupled Radiometer and Photometer for Mars, and the Image processing Spectrometer for Mars, Phobos 2 fruitfully completed 3 preliminary contacts with Phobos.
The major part, 80% of the moon, was imaged by Phobos in 37 photographs. No evidence of water was detected by the infrared beam of the spectrometer. The long-delayed Mars 96 aim, which was unsuccessful due to the launch vehicle’s fourth stage misfiring, used the Phobos design once more. Additionally, the 2011 Fobos-Grunt mission, which was also intended to explore Phobos, failed. There has not been a probe to Phobos that has been totally successful so far.