Paris, 21 October. CNES and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) today signed an implementing arrangement covering joint activities in spaceflight dynamics and geodetic research, as well as the French MIRS instrument (MMX InfraRed Spectrometer) for Japan’s Martian Moons eXploration mission (MMX) scheduled to launch in 2024.
This new accord, concluded under the framework inter-agency space cooperation agreement between JAXA and CNES signed on 5 October 2015, is the third such implementing arrangement concerning France’s various contributions to the MMX mission.
Announced in June 2015, MMX is a JAXA mission designed chiefly to bring back samples to Earth from Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons. It will also survey both of the red planet’s moons, Phobos and Deimos, at close quarters in an attempt to determine if they are asteroids captured into Mars’ orbit or, like our own Moon, formed by aggregation after a giant impact.
CNES is also contributing to this mission through a rover being developed jointly with the German aerospace agency DLR, furthering the longstanding and successful cooperation between the French, Japanese and German agencies in space science.
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