PARIS, Sep 7 The National Center for Space Research of France (CNES) presented a lunar rover that will go to explore the Martian moons in 2027 as part of the Martian mission Moons eXploration (MMX), Agence France-Presse reported.
The mobile rover, called Idefix, is being jointly developed by CNES and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In early 2027, he will have to collect soil samples from the largest moon of Mars, Phobos.
Lunokhod weighs 25 kilograms, its size is 51 centimeters. It is noted that the mass of the rover on the Martian moon will be no more than 10 grams, and it can be easily damaged when landing on its surface.
“We don't have the slightest idea of its behavior on this as yet little studied surface. The samples it has collected could help scientists shed light on the history of the solar system and the environment on Mars,” said Patrick Michel, the French scientist in charge of developing the rover. .
If all goes well, the rover will travel several hundred meters and collect soil samples and take photographs. It is powered by solar panels.
The MMX mission has been developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) since 2015. The spacecraft would orbit Mars, fly around Phobos and then the smaller Martian moon, Deimos, after which the return module would fly back to Earth. It is expected to land in July 2029. The main goal of the Martian Moons eXploration is to collect soil from Phobos for its detailed study. The launch of the mission is scheduled for September 2024.