EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Phobos Surface Science with the MMX Rover

Stephan Ulamec1, Patrick Michel2, Matthias Grott3, Ute Böttger4, Heinz-Willhelm Hübers4, Yuichiro Cho5, Fernando Rull6, Naomi Murdoch7, Pierre Vernazza8, Jens Biele1, Simon Tardivel9, and Hirdy Miyamoto10
Stephan Ulamec et al.
  • 1German Aerospace Center, DLR, Space Operations and Astronaut Training, Cologne, Germany
  • 2Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, France
  • 3German Aerospace Center, DLR, Inst of Planetary Research, Berlin, Germany
  • 4German Aerospace Center, DLR, Institute of Optical Sensor Systems, Berlin, Germany
  • 5Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 6Universidad de Valladolid – GIR ERICA, Boecillo, Valladolid, Spain
  • 7ISAE-Supaero University of Toulouse, France
  • 8Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, France
  • 9CNES, 18 Avenue E. Belin, Toulouse, France
  • 10Department of Systems Innovation, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

The Mars Moon eXploration (MMX) mission by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, which is going to explore the Martian Moons Phobos and Deimos and also return samples from Phobos back to Earth will also deliver a small (about 25 kg) Rover to the surface of Phobos.

The payload of this rover consists of a Raman spectrometer (RAX) to measure the mineralogical composition of the surface material, a stereo pair of cameras looking affront (NavCam, also used for navigation) to provide the properties of the investigated area, a radiometer (miniRAD) to measure the surface brightness temperature and determine thermal properties of both regolith and rocks, and two cameras looking at the wheel-surface interface (WheelCam) to investigate the properties and dynamics of the regolith. The cameras will, thus, serve for both, technological and scientific needs.
After the Rover has been delivered by the main spacecraft, it shall upright itself and operate for about 100 days on the surface of Phobos to investigate terrain and mineralogy along its path.
The measurements are going to provide ground truth by studying in-situ properties such as the physical properties and heterogeneity of the surface material.

MMX is planned to be launched in September 2024, the Rover delivery is currently planned for 2027.
The Rover is a contribution by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) with additional contributions from INTA (Spain) and JAXA.

How to cite: Ulamec, S., Michel, P., Grott, M., Böttger, U., Hübers, H.-W., Cho, Y., Rull, F., Murdoch, N., Vernazza, P., Biele, J., Tardivel, S., and Miyamoto, H.: Phobos Surface Science with the MMX Rover, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4033,, 2022.