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Lunar and Planetary Laboratory & Department of Planetary Sciences | The University of Arizona
Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) is a Martian moons exploration project aiming for launch in the early 2020s. After launching from the Earth, the spacecraft arrives in the Martian space over a period of about a year, and is entered into an orbit around Mars. After that, it will enter the Quasi Satellite Orbit (QSO) around the Martian moon, and get scientific data and samples from the Martian moon. After the observation and sample collection, the spacecraft will come back to the earth with samples taken from the martin moon. Currently it is assumed that it will be launched in 2024, Martian orbit insertion in 2025, and it will return to the earth in 2029.
By exploring the Martian moon, it is expected to improve technologies for future planet and satellite exploration such as, technologies required for roundtrip between the earth and Mars, the advanced sampling technique on the Martian moon surface, and the optimal communication technology using the deep space network ground station.