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Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission
Mars has two small moons, Phobos and Deimos. These are the target of the Japanese Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission, which also involves international partners. The spacecraft will carry a German-French rover that will land on either Phobos or Deimos and explore the surface in detail for several months.
Mars Mission InSight
The Mars mission InSight has been provisionally scheduled to launch to the Red Planet at the next opportunity – in May 2018. With InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), the geophysical properties of Mars will be investigated. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is using the time before the launch to optimise the HP3 sensor package (Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package) – a thermal probe with a penetrometer known as a 'mole', which bores holes up to five metres deep into the ground.
MASCOT - an asteroid lander
The near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, located approximately 300 million kilometres from Earth, has a new inhabitant: On 3 October 2018, the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) landed on the asteroid and began to work. The lander successfully separated from the Japanese Hayabusa2 space probe at 03:58 CEST.
Rosetta - Europe's comet chaser
The European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta mission was designed to study the formation and evolution of the Solar System by exploring one of the oldest and most primordial heavenly bodies – comets. The mission consisted of the Rosetta orbiter and the Philae lander. DLR played a major role in the construction of the lander and operated the Lander Control Center (LCC), from where the difficult task of landing on the comet on 12 November 2014 – a feat never before accomplished – was designed and controlled.
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