Earth and Planetary Sciences News
A Japanese research team has assessed the probability that Martian microbes that might have contaminated Mars’ moons would be returned to Earth by JAXA's Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) sample return mission.
Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to send the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission to Mars' moons Phobos and Deimos. MMX would return samples to Earth in 2029, but before sending the spacecraft, researchers need to assess the likelihood such samples might be contaminated with Martian microbes. The research team, led by Prof. Kazuhisa Fujita (JAXA), Dr. Kosuke Kurosawa (Chiba Institute of Technology), and Drs. Hidenori Genda and Ryuki Hyodo (Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology) in collaboration with the University of Tokyo and Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, has now determined the probability is extremely low, and thus the samples to be returned by this mission are likely to be safe.
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