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The German-French probe to explore Mars is called “Idefix”

The German-French probe to explore Mars is called “Idefix”

The German-French rover to explore Mars’ moon Phobos as part of a Japanese mission will be called “Idefix”. This was announced by the German Aerospace Center together with the French space agency CNES and the Japanese space agency JAXA on Tuesday at the International Space Exhibition in Le Bourget near Paris.

Accordingly, final work is currently being done on the rover. It will be delivered to Japan in the summer. In the popular “Asterix” comics, Idefix is ​​the little pup who is Obelix’s companion.

The rover is part of Japan’s Mars exploration mission, Mars Moon Exploration (MMX). The project plans to launch a probe in the direction of the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos next year. The Japanese space agency Jaxa wants to explore both moons with the mission and obtain soil samples from Phobos – hoping to find evidence of a Martian origin and possible traces of life. The samples are scheduled to be brought back to Earth in a capsule in 2029.

“Idefix” is to travel to different destinations on the Martian moon for about three months. The special thing about it: despite the extremely low gravity, the vehicle has to explore Phobos by rolling. Among other things, the rover has tools for analyzing the thermal properties and mineral composition of the surface. Idefix results should be taken into account when collecting soil samples.

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