Friday, August 12

Japan’s ambitious plan to reach a moon of Mars | Digital Trends Spanish

Japan also wants to become a relevant player in the space race. The Asian nation has just revealed its ambitious plans with which it could even get ahead of the United States and China.

Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has mentioned that the country wants to reach Phobos, one of the natural satellites of Mars, with the intention of collecting samples and bringing them to Earth.

The mission could be carried out in 2024 to bring the samples in 2029; in this way it would be ahead of the other two powers.

JAXA wants to launch an MXX, or Martian Moons eXploration, at Phobos, which is 9,000 kilometers from Mars. The idea is to be able to collect 10 grams of Martian soil that could help to understand the evolution of the Martian biosphere.

The Japanese space agency estimates that about 0.1 percent of the soil on Phobos’ surface comes from Mars.

Thus, in 10 grams there could be 30 granules of Martian soil, depending on the consistency of the soil.

According to Tomohiro Usui, a professor at the Institute of Astronautical and Space Sciences, collecting samples from different points on Phobos could considerably increase the chances of finding traces of life on Mars.

The research at Phobos could be complemented by samples from the crater that the United States and China want to extract to study how life on Mars may have arisen and evolved.

If these ambitious plans are confirmed, Japan could also become a leading player in space exploration.

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