About a week after Curiosity passed through the same milestone, Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo-1 -- still slated for a November 8 launch -- were encapsulated in their payload fairing in preparation for being stacked on their rocket. And, of course, our little Phobos LIFE capsule is inside there too!
Roscosmos is posting very frequent news updates to their website, along with many, many pictures. The fact that it's not in English nor written in Latin characters does create a hurdle to monitoring the mission's status, so these photos haven't gotten the attention that they should have. So I took the liberty of creating a Flickr photo set of Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo-1's preparations for launch, which I will add to as I find more photos. (If you prefer, here is a link to the Flickr slideshow of Phobos-Grunt photos.) Most of these photos should be credited to Roscosmos / IKI.
While I was at it, I collected links to all the news items I could find about these launch preparations. The links are all to the Russian-language texts, because I prefer to see things in their original form before running Google Translate on them. The text titles are all Google translations, and some are better than others.
Here is the Roscosmos news page, with links to news archives by month at the bottom. IKI's news page is here. Some useful Russian words: Фобос-Грунт = Phobos-Grunt; Архив = archive; Новости = news (novosti). Yinghuo-1 is usually named as YH-1.
- Jun 3, 2011: Electrical testing of spacecraft "Phobos-Grunt"
- Jun 22, 2011: In FCP, "SIC RCP" conducted electrical testing of spacecraft "Phobos-Grunt"
- Jun 28, 2011: Spacecraft "Phobos-Grunt" delivered at the FSUE "NPO. Lavochkin "
- Jul 27, 2011: Unloading is carried out at Baikonur rocket blocks "Zenit-2M"
- Aug 14, 2011: "Earth - Phobos - the Earth"
- Sep 9, 2011: Baikonur is mounted measuring station for the flight control interplanetary station "Phobos-Grunt"
- Sep 22, 2011: Photos posted to photo album
- Sep 29, 2011: Marching propulsion interplanetary station "Phobos-Grunt" delivered to the Baikonur Cosmodrome [pic] Press Service of the Russian Space Agency
- Oct 7, 2011: Tests cruise propulsion system of the Russian interplanetary station "Phobos-Grunt"
- Oct 13, 2011: Work is continuing on the program "Phobos-Grunt". Pictures from this date are also posted here.
- Oct 14, 2011: Preparations are underway for fueling marching propulsion stations "Phobos-Grunt"
- Oct 14, 2011: "Zenit-2SB" preparing for launch
- Oct 17, 2011: Automatic interplanetary station "Phobos-Grunt" delivered to the Baikonur Cosmodrome
- Oct 18, 2011: Picture story about installing an automatic interplanetary station "Phobos-Grunt" in the booth and start trials
- Oct 21, 2011: Automatic interplanetary station "Phobos-Grunt" transported to the gas station
- Oct 27, 2011: Preparing to run the automatic interplanetary station "Phobos-Grunt" is carried out in accordance with the schedule
- Oct 30, 2011: The resumption of flights of Russia in deep space: that after Phobos? long article in which questions from news media answered by Chief Designer Maxim Martynov, October 28, 2011
- Oct 31, 2011: A photo report on the preparation of the automatic interplanetary station "Phobos-Grunt" for launch
- Nov 1, 2011: Preparation of AMC "Phobos-Grunt" to be launched in accordance with the schedule
- Nov 2, 2011: Baikonur is completed assembly of the head of the ILV "Zenit-2SB" to start the AMC "Phobos-Grunt"
- Nov 3, 2011: Baikonur, work is continuing on the program launch AMC "Phobos-Grunt"
- And don't forget these videos and these diagrams