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JAXA to Advance Martian Moon Mission With NASA Instrumentation

Space collaboration

JAXA to Advance Martian Moon Mission With NASA Instrumentation

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will integrate for testing in its Martian moons mission spacecraft a spectrometer that NASA delivered on Thursday. According to the agency, the instrument’s review board has evaluated and certified the Mars-moon Exploration with Gamma Ray and Neutrons instrument and approved its delivery to JAXA in the fall of 2023 after a six-year design and development. 

The device will play a vital role in Japan’s Martian Moons eXploration program, aimed at characterizing and determining the origin of Mars’ Phobos and Deimos moons and sending a Phobos sample surface material to Earth, NASA said Thursday.

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, developed the instrument for NASA, in collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The device is designed to measure neutron and gamma-ray energies from Phobos’ surface and help determine the moon’s likely origin.

Thomas Statler, MEGANE program scientist at NASA’s Washington headquarters, described JAXA’s Mars moon program as a “groundbreaking mission” and its MEGANE integration continuing the collaboration between the two agencies.

In January 2023, U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken and Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa signed a framework agreement to strengthen the two countries’ collaboration on the peaceful exploration of outer space.

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Category: Space

Tags: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Mars-moon Exploration with Gamma Ray and Neutrons NASA space spectrometer Thomas Statler