Not much news but I did find Japan may be the first to post their flag on Phobos. Now this is quite an ambitious mission, they will sample the soil, deploy a rover, scan both Phobos and Deimos from orbit over a three years mission and HOPEFULLY, return a sample back to Earth.
Now, this is a very worthy attempt by JAXA to explore Mar’s moons. If anyone has a chance of pulling off such a complicated mission, it is the Japanese.
The mission is called the Martian Moons Exploration.
They are just announcing development of the vehicles and software but, I must say, what a lofty and worthy task they have set out for themselves.
You can bet I’ll be keeping up with their Twitter feed. I’m sure they will have lots of wonderful media to post in the upcoming year and I cant wait to see the spacecraft and the rover. They already landed a hole in one one with the Hayabusa2 mission (wiki), and the sample is on its way home. JAXA’s project website link here.
They are breaking ground here, and I hope and suspect they will succeed.
Finally out of respect to all you engineers out there, please take a moment to click on Centauri-Dreams. I have the upmost respect for him. He IS science. Takes me an hour to process even one of his articles. So much data and so well prepared. How does he find the time? Check his site often, he updates quite frequently about things far beyond our tiny solar system and most people’s comprehension.