Japan aims to bring back soil samples from Mars moon by 2029
Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Space; Science and Tech
In news: The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, plans to launch an explorer in 2024 to land on Phobos, a Martian moon, to collect 10 grams of soil and bring it back to Earth in 2029 (ahead of the United States and China)
- Soil on Phobos is likely to be a mixture of material from the moon itself and material from Mars that was spread by sandstorms.
- Significance: Collecting samples from multiple locations on Phobos could provide a greater chance of obtaining possible traces of life from Mars.
- Scientists also hope to learn about the evolution of the Martian biosphere.
Do you know?
- NASA’s Perseverance rover has landed in a Mars crater where it is to collect 31 samples that are to be returned to Earth with help from the European Space Agency as early as 2031.
- China in May became the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on Mars and plans to bring back samples around 2030.
- Two other NASA landers are also operating on Mars — 2018’s InSight and 2012’s Curiosity rover.
- Currently, following mission are exploring Mars:
- Three from the U.S. – Odyssey, MAVEN, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars 2020 (Perseverance Rover & Ingenuity Helicopter)
- Two from Europe – Exo Mars, Mars Express
- One from India – Mangalyaan
- One from China – Tianwen-1 (orbiter & rover)
- One from UAE – Emirates Mars Mission, Hope Spacecraft
News Source: TH