Researchers from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have proposed a new idea for the search for extraterrestrial life. The article was published in the journal Science.
Scientists are now exploring the crater Jezero on the surface of Mars using the Perseverance rover. This work is part of a collaborative effort between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) to collect samples from Mars and deliver them to Earth. However, scientists from JAXA believe that in the search for evidence of life on the planet, it is necessary to focus on its moons – Phobos and Deimos.
The fact is that both moons of Mars – Phobos and Deimos – are smaller than the Moon of the Earth, moreover, they are much closer to the planet. Due to resource constraints, probes sent to study the surface of Mars only scan a small portion of its surface. If there is life or traces of it, it is not easy to find it in small quantities. Therefore, scientists suggested that a probe on one of the satellites of Mars could show better results.
For the future, JAXA has already planned a mission called Martian Moons eXploration (MMX), during which scientists will send a probe to Phobos to take samples and deliver them to Earth by the end of the decade. The project is scheduled for 2024.