Photos: Mars probe on the launch pad

Russia will launch a probe to Mars on Tuesday, resuming the country's exploration of the solar system after funding woes and mission failures hindered progress over the last two decades.

The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft will reach Mars in September 2012, release a Chinese orbiter and attempt to collect samples from Phobos, the Red Planet's largest moon. If all goes according to plan, the probe will return to Earth with the samples in 2014.

The video and images below show a Zenit 3F rocket rolling to the launch pad on a train, then being rotated vertically in position for liftoff. Rollout occurred Sunday morning at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Launch is set for 2016 GMT (3:16 p.m. EST) Tuesday.

Credit: Roscosmos

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