On March 31, 1989 headlines informed that Phobos 2, before losing contact, captured some strange photos of an unidentified object. Phobos 2 operated normally during its cruise phase, travelling the millions of miles from the Earth to Mars with no mechnical problems. It successfully gathered data about the Sun, Earth, Mars, and the interplanetary medium. On March 27, 1989, as it approached within 50 meters of the moon Phobos, it was set to drop a mobile "hopper" lander and a stationary platform. But just before doing so, contact was mysteriously lost.