Scientists from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) suggest that asteroids that struck Mars billions of years ago may have sent ancient microbial life to its moon. Life on the Red Planet?
According to the British newspaper, “Daily Mail”, Dr Ryuki Haido, who leads the research, said: “Phobos is very unique in terms of its location from the host planet “Mars.” If Mars had life at all, it could be easily transferred to Phobos without there being an impact. Large on Mars would destroy vital fingerprints.
The research indicates that these moved remains may include microorganisms and possible DNA fragments. The research team led by Haido is scheduled to launch the Mars Moon Exploration (MMX) mission in 2024, which will collect samples from the surface of Phobos and return them to Earth after five Years.
“Phobos is one of the best places to look for remnants of ancient life in the solar system, probably second only to Mars,” said Dr. James O’Donogo, a planetary astronomer at JAXA.
Phobos orbits only 3,700 miles from the surface of Mars, which is why it could have ancient signs of life from its host planet.
When the team lands on Phobos, it will use a drilling system to extract samples that will then be returned to Earth in 2029 for analysis.