Japan aims to retrieve soil samples from the Martian moon by 2029 | WGN Radio 720

Tokyo (AP) — Japanese space agency scientists from the Mars region on Thursday, hoping to find clues to the origins and potential of the planet, ahead of the United States and China, which launched their Mars mission last year. Life that stated that he planned to bring back soil samples.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to launch a spacecraft in 2024 to land on the moon of Mars, Phobos, to collect 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of soil and return it to Earth in 2029. ..

Project manager Yasuhiro Kawakatsu said at an online press conference that Japan is expected to be ahead of the United States and China in taking samples from the Mars region with a quick return.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover will land on the Martian crater and collect 31 samples that will be returned to Earth as early as 2031 with the support of the European Space Agency. In May, China became the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on Mars. We plan to bring back samples around 2030.

JAXA scientists believe that about 0.1% of Phobos’ surface soil came from Mars, and 10 grams may contain about 30 granules, depending on soil consistency. Kawakatsu said there was.

Professor Tomohiro Usui of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science said that the soil of Phobos is likely to be a mixture of the material of the Moon itself and the material of Mars spread by the sandstorm. Collecting samples from multiple locations in Phobos may be more likely to obtain traces of life from Mars than to obtain soil from a single location on Mars, he said.

According to JAXA scientists, life forms that may have come from Mars will die due to severe solar radiation and cosmic rays to Phobos. NASA and the European Space Agency’s mission focuses on potential life forms and evolution in the territory of the Jezero Crater, which is considered an ancient lake.

Scientists want to learn about the evolution of the Martian biosphere by studying Phobos soil samples containing Martian material, Usui said.

He could complement each other’s Japanese studies of Phobos and NASA samples from specific locations in the Martian crater, and how they emerged and evolved in time and place, if Martian life was present. He said it could lead to answers to questions such as.

In December of last year, JAXA’s probe “Hayabusa2” brought back more than 5 grams (0.19 ounces) of soil from Ryugu, which is more than 300 million kilometers (190 million miles) away from the earth, and returned the asteroid sample for the first time in the world. Succeeded.

Japan aims to retrieve soil samples from the Martian moon by 2029 | WGN Radio 720

Source link Japan aims to retrieve soil samples from the Martian moon by 2029 | WGN Radio 720

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