The Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw has started work on developing a geological penetrator CHOMIK (the Polish word for hamster), intended for the Russian space mission Phobos Sample Return. The return spacecraft will reach Earth in mid-2014 with a soil sample collected by the penetrator on the surface of the Martian moon Phobos.
The geological penetrator CHOMIK (Polish word for hamster), built at the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences for the purpose of collecting a soil sample from one of the Martian moons, has completed the first stage of the journey. Following successful tests, the flight model has been handed over to Moscow. At the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences the device will be integrated with the manipulator of the Phobos Sample Return mission lander and will fly towards Mars in a few months.