Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said recently that its “Mars Satellite Exploration” (MMX) mission has been approved and is officially in development, with the goal of sending orbiters, landers and perhaps a rover to Mars in 2024, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said. Samples collected are expected to be sent back to Earth in 2029.
MMX plans to equip an orbiter with several instruments to study the Mars moons Phobos and Deimos over a three-year period. The MMX will then spin into the fire guard and land on its surface for a few hours, possibly with a rover equipped with a drill that will collect at least one sample of “more than 10 grams.” Next, the propulsion module sends the sample into the container and grabs it from the vulcan, which will be sent back to Earth around September 2029.
Scientists believe that studying and landing a Mars satellite is crucial for humans to go to Mars, and that it could be easier for humans to build bases on Phobos and Phobos and then to Mars, which would be easier than humans going directly to Mars.
“Realistically, humans can only explore the surface of a few celestial bodies, and Phobos and Phobos are among them,” said Jim Green, NASA’s chief scientist. Their location around Mars may make them the main target spree for humans to visit before they reach the surface of Mars. “
The MMX team said the mission would “test and demonstrate the technologies necessary to enter and leave the gravitational wells of Mars, to land and navigate the surface of low-gravity objects, and to deploy equipment for surface sampling missions.” “The mission will also measure the radiation environment, which is one of the main concerns that humans need to consider beyond the protection of the Earth’s magnetosphere.
NASA, the European Space Agency, the French National Space Research Centre and the German Aerospace Center are also known to provide equipment for the mission.
The MMX mission builds on JAXA’s previously completed asteroid exploration and sample return mission. The Osprey spacecraft went to the asteroid Sasakawa in 2005 and successfully sent samples back to Earth in 2010. In 2019, the Osprey 2 probe successfully sampled from the asteroid Dragon Palace, and the sample sits expected to return to Earth by the end of this year.
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As early as the 1990s, Japan tried to explore Mars. They sent out their first Mars rover, Hope. However, “Hope” failed to reach Mars as scheduled, nor to adjust its orbit as planned for the subsequent restoration, all the way up and down, and was finally abandoned after five years of flight. Now, Japan intends to send another “messenger” to the Earth’s immediate neighbor. Humans have been trying to explore Mars, and although most of the plans have failed, they are still on the move. The age of deep space exploration, curiosity and courage, is more precious than gold.