Universe Today Podcast

Episode 635: Japan is Going to Bring a Sample of Phobos Back to Earth. The Martian Moon eXploration Mission

March 3rd, 2020  •  10 mins 6 secs  •  Download (9.26 MB)  •  Link with Timestamp

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Mars has been the destination for so many of our spacecraft, and for good reason, it’s probably the most Earthlike place in the Solar System, with water ice on its surface and reservoirs of the liquid beneath the surface. If we’re going to find life, Mars might be the place.

But the tiny moons orbiting Mars, Phobos and Deimos, are scientifically fascinating on their own, and so far, a mission has never reached them.

Last week, Japan announced that they’ve greenlit their Martian Moon eXploration mission, or MMX, which will launch an orbiter, lander and maybe even a rover to Phobos in 2024, returning samples back to Earth by the end of the decade.