Japan is about to explore the satellite of Mars
Japanese space agency JAXA announced a plan to send a spacecraft to one of the Martian satellites. The device will take a soil sample from the surface and deliver it to Earth for study. If successful, it will be the first mission in the history of astronautics with a landing on the Martian moon.
JAXA already has experience with similar missions. Earlier, the agency successfully landed the Hayabusa apparatus on an asteroid, he took samples and returned to Earth in 2010.
The European Space Agency also dropped the Rosetta probe on a comet last year.
Thus, we can hope that the plans of JAXA are quite real: at least, the technologies of space shipbuilding fully allow them to be implemented.
However, the intentions of JAXA have not yet been finalized. The government should approve a financing plan: the cost of the program is estimated at $ 241 million. It is also unknown which particular satellite the landing will take place: Phobos or Deimos. Preliminary mission is scheduled for 2022.
By the way, Roscosmos had similar plans, then it was planned to deliver the probe on a rocket, but it crashed in 2011, without releasing the probe into space.
Samples from the Martian satellite will help determine its origin. Some scientists believe that the satellites are actually former asteroids captured by the gravity of Mars. In addition, the tests will help in investigating why water disappeared from the surface of Mars. In the end, the study of satellites is important, taking into account the prospects for a future manned mission to Mars and the founding of a colony there, which is bound to happen sooner or later.
Interestingly, a month ago, one of the NASA employees, speaking at the Humans to Mars conference, called the plan of landing astronauts on Phobos in 2033 and on Mars in 2039 quite realistic, so the development of Martian satellites is considered as an intermediate stage before the construction of the Martian base.