Published On: Thu, Aug 19th, 2021
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Japan Aims to Bring Back Soil Samples From Mars Moon by 2029on August 19, 2021 at 4:24 pm

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TOKYO—Japanese space agency scientists said Thursday they plan to bring soil samples back from the Mars region ahead of the United States and China, which started Mars missions last year, in hopes of finding clues to the planet’s origin and traces of possible life. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, plans to launch an explorer in 2024 to land on Phobos, a Martian moon, to collect 10 grams (0.35 ounce) of soil and bring it back to Earth in 2029. The rapid return trip is expected to put Japan ahead of the United States and China in bringing back samples from the Martian region despite starting later, project manager Yasuhiro Kawakatsu said in an online news conference. NASA’s Perseverance rover has landed in a Mars crater where it is to collect 31 samples that are to be returned to Earth with help from the European Space Agency as early …

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