Japan to send unmanned probe to Mars’ moon Phobos


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The new colonial movement: Japan revealed yesterday that it plans to send unmanned probe to Mars’ moon Phobos, using the basic designs developed for the asteroid mission Hayabusa-2.

Like Hayabusa-2, they will attempt to grab a sample from Phobos, and will launch in September 2024, returning its sample in 2029.

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3 comments

  • Rodney

    Right into the Phobosian lair. Good luck with that.

  • Brad

    Good for Japan and JAXA! Those moons of Mars need closer looks. And good for JAXA to exploit what they have already developed to accomplish additional missions.

    How hard would it be to send one duplicate of the Dawn spacecraft to investigate both Deimos and Phobos?

  • Edward

    Brad asked: “How hard would it be to send one duplicate of the Dawn spacecraft to investigate both Deimos and Phobos?

    Probably not too hard, but JAXA’s announced mission to explore Phobos and to grab a sample from it should give us quite an education about this moon.

    Every decade, NASA prioritizes possible exploration missions to fit its limited budget. This mission has not made it high enough on NASA’s list, but it got high on JAXA’s. It also was high on Russia’s list, but a decade ago their mission, Phobos-Grunt, failed to leave Earth orbit (part of the reason for Rodney’s comment, as a high percentage of Mars missions have failed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_Mars#Probing_difficulties ).

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