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Martian moons exploration MMX: sample return mission to Phobos elucidating formation processes of habitable planets

Abstract : Martian moons exploration, MMX, is the new sample return mission planned by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) targeting the two Martian moons with the scheduled launch in 2024 and return to the Earth in 2029. The major scientific objectives of this mission are to determine the origin of Phobos and Deimos, to elucidate the early Solar System evolution in terms of volatile delivery across the snow line to the terrestrial planets having habitable surface environments, and to explore the evolutionary processes of both moons and Mars surface environment. To achieve these objectives, during a stay in circum-Martian space over about 3 years MMX will collect samples from Phobos along with close-up observations of this inner moon and carry out multiple flybys of Deimos to make comparative observations of this outer moon. Simultaneously, successive observations of the Martian atmosphere will also be made by utilizing the advantage of quasi-equatorial spacecraft orbits along the moons' orbits.
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Kiyoshi Kuramoto, Yasuhiro Kawakatsu, Masaki Fujimoto, Akito Araya, Maria Antonietta Barucci, et al.. Martian moons exploration MMX: sample return mission to Phobos elucidating formation processes of habitable planets. Earth, Planets and Space, 2022, 74, ⟨10.1186/s40623-021-01545-7⟩. ⟨insu-03656889⟩

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