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Russia’s Obsession With Mars’ Enigmatic Moon, Phobos New Mission Scheduled

Russia’s Obsession With Mars’ Enigmatic Moon, Phobos –New Mission Scheduled…

“Phobos has really low density,” said said James Head, Brown University professor of geological sciences. “Is that low density due to ice in its interior or is it due to Phobos being completely fragmented, like a loose rubble pile? We don’t know.”

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If all goes well, the new Russian mission scheduled to launch in 2020 or shortly there after will help solve some the mysteries about Phobos. And we might learn a good deal about Mars in the process. A new study helps to confirm the idea that the surface of Phobos contains tons of dust, soil, and rock blown off the Martian surface by large projectile impacts. Phobos’ orbital path plows through occasional plumes of Martian debris, meaning the tiny moon has been gathering Martian castoffs for millions of years. That means a sample-return mission planned by the Russian space agency could sample two celestial bodies for the price of one…

Credit Image: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

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