Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) Mission News

How do you circle a moon?

How do you circle a moon?

It may initially seem premature to worry about the spacecraft’s path and orbit upon arrival at Mars. But the science and engineering goals for the mission are both precise and challenging, frequently requiring the spacecraft to be in a particular location or orientation with respect to Mars, the moons, the Earth or the Sun. As a result, we need to consider our route through Martian space early so that any structural or operational requirements will be reflected in the spacecraft design.

Spectacles to see a moon: NASA select ‘MEGANE’ instrument for MMX

Spectacles to see a moon: NASA select ‘MEGANE’ instrument for MMX

NASA has selected their scientific instrument for the Martian Moon eXploration (MMX) Mission. The US Space Agency called for proposals in March for the design of a gamma ray and neutron spectrometer (GRNS); a top priority instrument for the spacecraft due to its ability to identify the chemical elements that form the Martian moon rock.

How to find the best samples on a moon: Building relationships and solving engineering challenges in France

How to find the best samples on a moon: Building relationships and solving engineering challenges in France

On October 30th, representatives from JAXA and CNES gathered in Paris to deepen this cooperation by holding a joint review of the status of the Martian Moons eXploration mission and plans for the smooth integration of the French and Japanese team members.

Preparing for the unexpected:  a second way to sample a moon

Preparing for the unexpected: a second way to sample a moon

No one has ever visited the moons of Mars. Exactly what these two small worlds are like is therefore a mystery. This presents our Martian Moon eXploration (MMX) Mission with a major challenge: successfully gathering a sample of soil from unknown terrain and returning it to Earth.

Phobos and Deimos: a bridge between scientific investigations and human exploration at NASA Forum

Phobos and Deimos: a bridge between scientific investigations and human exploration at NASA Forum

The moons of Mars, whose origin will be probed by the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission, are intriguing to scientists for many reasons--but at the 2017 NASA Exploration Science Forum, held on 18-20 July, 2017 at NASA’s Ames Research Center, their potential to enable human exploration of the Solar System was brought to the forefront as well. 

Gravity both too strong and too weak: landing on the Martian moons

Gravity both too strong and too weak: landing on the Martian moons

To successfully sample the rocks of Phobos or Deimos, the Martian Moon eXploration (MMX) spacecraft must be able to secure...