September 16, 2021

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Japan is also looking for life on Mars

Japan is also looking for life on Mars

Mars-Mont Popos. (Framework: HiRISE, MRO, LPL – U. Arizona – NASA)

In addition to NASA and ESA’s Mars mission, a Japanese mission wants to study rock samples from Mars or traces of life on its moon Phobos.

Mars-rover diligence Recently on the first try, Rock specimens from the Red Planet Failed to remove. However, further drilling is planned. Together with ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter, NASA plans to bring the models back to Earth by the end of this decade. Traces of past life To inquire. The Japanese space agency Jaxa plans to launch a similar project soon, but Bobos on Mars.

The Japanese spacecraft will fly to Mars in 2024

One of the trade magazine Published scientific report Japanese Jaxa scientists Ryuki Hioto and Domohiro Usui will use the Mars lunar exploration spacecraft, which is still in development. According to the plan, the spacecraft is scheduled to depart for Mars in September 2024. Nearly a year later, it is scheduled to land in Phobos. Should be Mars moon study Take ten to 100 grams of soil sample.

Following that, several flying projects of the second Mars moon Timos are planned. Models are expected to arrive on Earth in 2029. There they will explore possible traces of past life on Mars. In their article, the scientists also explain in detail why Japanese space travel takes samples directly from Phobos, not from Mars.

Microbiology searches for traces of life

Briefly: Scientists calculate the amount of rock objects thrown into space when asteroids hit Mars and then landed on Bobos or Timos. These may contain traces of previously possible microbial life on Mars.

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Water or the atmosphere, on the other hand, is not suspected in phobos. According to the researchers, although they have not found any traces of life, the Phobos and Mars models will help to understand the question of why (no longer) life exists on Mars, but on Earth.

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