While NASA’s race to the moon receives a another blow, even with respect to Mars, the US agency could be hit in time. At least as far as missions sample return. The pressure on the already ambitious space program accelerator this time is Japanwhich announced a new roadmap for its mission Explorations of the moon of Mars (MMX): take off in 2024, coming around Mars in 2025 And back to earth in 2029. With the first sample ever collected from Phobos, the largest and deepest moon of Mars.
Japan Space Agency claims traces of the past may be hiding there existence of life on Mars. Phobos could in fact contain a portion of the primordial matter that separated from the crust of Mars after it collided with ancient asteroids. JAXA scientists have dubbed these possible biometric fingerprints the word . Shigai, which in Japanese means “leftover” but is also an abbreviation of English Sterile genes exposed to harsh radiation and their antiquities (Sterile, strongly irradiated genes and ancient footprints).
Building on mission success Hayabusa 2, which he witnessed last year Brought to Earth a sample taken from the asteroid Ryugu More than 300 million kilometers away, Japan aims to use a similar strategy. When Mmx is introduced into Mars orbit, a smaller probe will separate from the mother ship and land on Phobos. At this point it will collect a sample of the satellite’s surface – referred to as a Not less than 10 grams, an amount that can also be accessed through two separate strains. The precious cargo will be hermetically sealed in a capsule, which will separate from the rest of the probe and begin returning to our planet.
If all goes as planned, then in 2029 we will have the first piece of the Martian moon in terrestrial laboratories. Which, as indicated by the project manager Yasuhiro Kawakatsu At a press conference, “it would put Japan ahead of the United States and China in bringing samples from the Martian region, despite the mission being started at a later time.”
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