Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) Mission News

The Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission has moved to the Critical Design Phase

A JAXA integrated PDR that considered all elements was conducted in February 2021. A large number of participants from inside and outside of JAXA were involved in the judging, and the transition to the next phase (Critical Design Phase) was approved.

Could MMX collect a sample of Mars’s ancient atmosphere?

When the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission returns to Earth in 2029, the spacecraft will bring home a sample capsule containing material from the martian moon, Phobos. This material is expected to not only reveal the composition and history of the moons, but also contain grains ejected from Mars over the red planet’s history. New research now suggests that the sample may also include traces of Mars’s ancient atmosphere.

MMX and Twinkle Space Telescope work together to unveil the origin of Martian moons

The Martian Moons eXploration Mission (MMX) will be collaborating with the UK-led Twinkle Space Telescope to elucidate the origin of the Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos.

The fun of spacecraft system design

With limited mass, the key is to prepare the most efficient combination in anticipation of what may happen in the future. For artificial satellites in the Earth’s sphere, rapid support provided from the ground can be expected. But the spacecraft system design for deep space missions such as Hayabusa, Hayabusa2 and MMX, it is similar to the idea of preparing to ride a bicycle in an area where support such as convenience stores cannot be expected at all.

The MMX Rover is undergoing tests for landing!

When the MMX spacecraft leaves Earth in 2024 JFY*, it will be carrying a buddy: a rover designed to explore the surface of Phobos. The microwave-sized vehicle is being designed by the German and French space agencies, DLR and CNES. With a mass of approximately 25 kg, the rover must be both lightweight and strong. Its first test will be to survive the drop from the MMX spacecraft to the surface of Phobos, estimated to be a free-fall descent of about 40 to 100 m.

‘Super Hi-Vision’ cameras for MMX!

This week, JAXA and NHK announced plans to develop a camera for space that can take ultra high definition images. Two of the new “Super Hi-Vision” cameras will join the suite of instruments onboard the MMX spacecraft to record our journey to the Martian system!