Japan gets 'all clear' to mine Mars' moon
nypost.com -- May 18
Japan is ready to mine Mars' largest moon after successfully completing all of the compulsory "space contamination" paperwork.

Japanese space agency JAXA hopes to travel to the Mars moon, drill into it and then bring a piece of it back to Earth for investigation.

Mars actually has two small moons called Phobos and Deimos and their names mean fear and panic in Latin.

Phobos and Deimos are a lot smaller than our moon and are irregular shapes.

JAXA has its sights set on boring a hole into Phobos and has scheduled this to happen by 2024.

It has dubbed the mission MMX and it will involve a spacecraft with a robotic arm that will do the digging.

However, Earth laws state that humans exploring the solar system must abide by certain rules in order to protect space from human contamination.

JAXA had to apply to the world's Committee on Space Research's Planetary Protection Panel, which recently granted permission.

A team of international scientists make up the panel and are tasked with enforcing the United Nations' Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

News source: nypost.com
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