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.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team recently released these pictures of Phobos. Very nice photos.
Well, its a long trip to the outer rim. You don’t realize how long one can sleep. They wake you up and you have a week or two to get ready to go back to sleep while taking on fuel and preparing for the next orbital slingshot. (One guy is in storage still, he’s doing his trip asleep all the way. rumor has it that its set for 25 years… Yea, do not disturb) Yea, its 2020 and we can freeze your body.
But, in my off moments, I did manage to check out the off world outpost on on Phobos.
Quick overnight shuttle mission, it was fun. Had time to do some research! Turns out mars->moon’s orbits are pretty easy. Also handy is having 2 moons and a big old rock turns out for come cool orbital mechanics. Anyways, its pretty fast, and if you’r broke from the night at the off colony saloon – Better hope you still have your spacesuit, we can send you back up to a moon cargo style. (Hope someone makes sure you have a space oxygen tank). Just ask for the emergency valet.
Catching up on current news, I see not much is set in stone. I did find an article from NASA, about performing a maneuver to keep Phobos untouched.
Not a lot of news, but I leave you some bits from the wiki. This quote was worthy :
“Phobos has been proposed as an early target for a human mission to Mars. The teleoperation of robotic scouts on Mars by humans on Phobos could be conducted without significant time delay, and planetary protection concerns in early Mars exploration might be addressed by such an approach.|
Again, Phobos could be valuable real estate..
Found this interesting thread, thought I would share.
Nice time waster.. SFW as always. Love reading this stuff, but yea – the pictures do make you wonder a bit.
The folks at gizmodo write : “This is the first time Odyssey specifically has taken a peek at the moon, and the first infrared imaging available.”
Pretty neat, link here.