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Artist's rendering of the Mercury-P spacecraft
Mission typePlanetary reconnaissance
OperatorRussian Federal Space Agency
Spacecraft properties
BOL mass8,120 kg[1]
Landing mass710 kg [2]
Payload massLander: 40 kg [2]
Orbiter: 50 kg[1]
Start of mission
Launch dateCirca 2024 [3][4]
Mercury orbiter
Mercury lander

Mercury-P (Russian: Меркурий-П) is a mission concept for an orbiter and lander by the Russian Federal Space Agency to study the planet Mercury.[1] The initial study suggested a launch in 2024, [1] but because of the crash of the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, the implementation period was postponed to the 2030s.[1] The letter P in Mercury-P, stands for the Russian word 'posadka', meaning landing.[1]

Mercury-P would be the first soft lander on Mercury. A proposed flight scenario for the mission included a flyby of Venus, the insertion of the spacecraft into the orbit around Mercury and the delivery of a lander on its surface. The Institute of Space Research studied the possibility of "recycling" hardware developed for the Phobos-Grunt, Mars-NET, Mars-96, and Solar Sail spacecraft, with proposed upgrades of the hardware.[1] As of 2012, Russian scientists have conducted a preliminary concept study of the project, and compiled a list of the required scientific payload.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Mercury-P project". Russianspaceweb. 13 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b LAVOCHKIN ASSOCIATION - Space Missions. (PDF). Roscosmos 2010.
  3. ^ a b Russian space probe aims to be the first to land on Venus' surface. October 17, 2012. Andrei Kislyakov Russia Beyond
  4. ^ Roscosmos looking to win the Venus race. Andrei Kislyakov, Russia Beyond.October 18, 2012.