The MMX booth at the JAXA Sagamihara Open Campus

Every year, the JAXA Sagamihara Campus in Kanagawa welcomes visitors for a special open day, either to the campus itself or online. The on-site event was held this year on Friday November 3, which was a public holiday in Japan, and live online presentations were broadcast the following day on November 4. The Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) Project held an exhibition booth during the local on-site event. This was the first time in four years that MMX has held an in-person exhibit for the campus special open day!

The MMX exhibition booth before the campus open day began. The MMX mascot characters are there to welcome everyone!

The MMX exhibition booth held mini-lectures by Project members during the day, and also a game corner, where visitors could try the MMX computer game designed by JAXA Space Education Center. Posters exhibited at the booth also let visitors learn more about the mission.

The booth was very popular, and was crowded all day with people visiting!

In the game corner, visitors could try their hand at becoming a JAXA engineer by making different design choices for the MMX spacecraft. A successful design allowed the spacecraft to reach Mars and land on the Martian moon, Phobos. Our laptop engineers that day had to decide between components with different weight, power and efficiency. Anyone who designed a spacecraft that could successfully complete the mission received a postcard from the team. This event was particularly popular, with a line of young future engineers!

Visitors trying the MMX game. Will they be able to successfully reach Phobos?

During the MMX mini-lectures, visitors listened to three different talks about MMX by our team. The mini-lectures had the themes “Mission”, “Science” and “Bus System”, all of which were crowded with people to leave only standing room. Our team were delighted by the interest, and really appreciated all the questions from the audience. 

The posters around the exhibition booth introduced the mission, and also included a poster with messages from the MMX team members. MMX members were available to answer any questions, such as “Why Phobos and not Mars?”

The following day was the online campus event, where people could join from anywhere in the world. Members of the MMX team participated in a newly released JAXA ISAS music video, “Hataraku Uchuuki”, which translates as “Working Spacecraft”! The song is a parady of “Hataraku Kuruma” (“Working vehicles”). You can watch a video of “Hataraku Uchuuki” on the JAXA Sagamihara YouTube channel.

Further information:

The MMX computer game: do you have what it takes to be a JAXA engineer?

Hararaku Uchuuki ISAS music video