JAXA and NHK to develop Hi-Vision Camera for MMX mission

Nov, 2021 - By SMI

JAXA and NHK to develop Hi-Vision Camera for MMX mission

MMX will collect samples from Phobos once or twice, as well as will conduct Deimos flyby observations and monitor the climate of Mars.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning to launch the Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) mission in 2024. MMX is a robotic space mission that is planned to bring back the first samples from the Martian Moons such as Phobos and Deimos. In February 2020, the Japanese government officially sanctioned this mission and permitted for further development. If successful, the MMX will be the first mission to touch down the surface of the Martian moon and will be the first round-trip to the Mars system.

Now, Japan’s Space Agency joined forces with Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) to develop a Hi-Vision Camera for the MMX mission. The Martian Moons Exploration (MMX) mission is slated to launch in 2024 and is expected to return to Earth in July 2029. It will take around one year to reach Mars (in 2025), then it will examine the Phobos and Deimos (Martian moons). Moreover, MMX will collect samples from the Phobos. The mission uses three modules such as the propulsion module, exploration module, and the return module.

The Hi-Vision Camera will capture high-definition images that will be partly transmitted to Earth. Deimos is a smaller sibling of Phobos and both have the appearance of asteroids. The MMX spacecraft will use onboard instruments to study the Martian moons. The spacecraft will enter orbit around Mars, then it will go into a quasi-satellite orbit around the Phobos. MMX will collect samples from Phobos once or twice, as well as conduct Deimos flyby observations and monitor the climate of Mars. If all goes according to the plan, the MMX mission will return to Earth with the first samples of a Martian moon by the end of the decade.

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