System definition of Martian Moons Exploration (MMX)

Yasuhiro Kawakatsu, Kiyoshi Kuramoto, Tomohiro Usui, Hitoshi Ikeda, Kent Yoshikawa, Hirotaka Sawada, Naoya Ozaki, Takane Imada, Hisashi Otake, Kenichiro Maki, Masatsugu Otsuki, Robert Muller, Kris Zacny, Yasutaka Satoh, Stephane Mary, Markus Grebenstein, Ayumu Tokaji, Liang Yuying, Ferran Gonzalez Franquesa, Nishanth PushparajTakuya Chikazawa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) is a mission to Martian moons under development in JAXA with international partners to be launched in 2024. This paper introduces the system definition and the latest status of MMX program. “How was water delivered to rocky planets and enabled the habitability of the solar system?” This is the key question to which MMX is going to answer in the context of our minor body exploration strategy preceded by Hayabusa and Hayabusa2. Solar system formation theories suggest that small bodies as comets and asteroids were delivery capsules of water, volatiles, organic compounds etc. from outside of the snow line to entitle the rocky planet region to be habitable. Mars was at the gateway position to witness the process, which naturally leads us to explore two Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, to answer to the key question. The goal of MMX is to reveal the origin of the Martian moons, and then to make a progress in our understanding of planetary system formation and of primordial material transport around the border between the inner- and the outer-part of the early solar system. The mission is to survey two Martian moons, and return samples from one of them, Phobos. In view of the launch in 2024, the phase-A study was completed in February, 2020. The mission definition, mission scenario, system definition, critical technologies and programmatic framework are introduced int this paper.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event71st International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Oct 12 2020Oct 14 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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