|MARS-96      ||ROBOTIC SPACECRAFT MISSION TO MARS. Brief description|
At the end of the 1980's, the successful broad scientific exploration program of Venus was fulfilled, the successful mission to Halley Comet was completed and the mission to Phobos, having limited success, was also realized, At this time, Mars was chosen as the main object for future planetary exploration within the Russian Space Program. The basic arguments in favour of such a choice were the following:
The previous Venus, comet and Phobos exploration has developed an excellent technical base to transfer to a successful Mars exploration program. We have inherited a basic orbiter module developed earlier for the PHOBOS Mission as well as the experience gained in designing landers and performing complex mission operations.
In Russia, the preparation for this new mission to Mars began in early 1989, immediately after the completion of the mission to Phobos. Since then, this project became one of the highest priorities of the Russian Federation Space Studies Program. Earlier, this Program included two missions to Mars: one in 1994 and one in 1996. The launch in 1994 was not realized because of national economic difficulties. It had to be rescheduled for launch in 1996.
The MARS-96 spacecraft consists of the following units:
The spacecraft, small stations and penetrators were developed and manufactured at the Lavochkin Research and Operational Association (NPO). The small stations were designed in cooperation with the Space Research Institute (IKI), the penetrators in cooperation with the Vernadsky Institute (GEOHI). The scientific payload was integrated and initially tested at IKI before being delivered for final integration and testing with the spacecraft at NPO. The scientific instruments were developed and manufactured in scientific institutes of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA and the European Space Agency.
Acad. A.A.Galeev is the Scientific Head of the Project, Dr. V.I.Moroz is the Deputy of the Scientific Head, V.M.Kovtunenko, Corr.Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is the General Designer of the Project, R.S.Kremnev is the Deputy of the General Designer, Dr. V.M.Linkin is the Scientific Head of the Small Station Project, Dr. Yu.A. Surkov is the Scientific Head of the Penetrator Project, Dr. A.V.Zakharov is the Project Scientist, E.M.Vasiljev is the Technical Director of the Orbiter scientific instrument complex, and V.I.Subbotin is his Deputy.