Transport of impact ejecta from Mars to its moons as a means to reveal Martian historyOPEN ACCESS 

Ryuki Hyodo, Kosuke Kurosawa, Hidenori Genda, Tomohiro Usui & Kazuhisa Fujita

Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 19833 (2019)


“Throughout the history of the solar system, Mars has experienced continuous asteroidal impacts. These impacts have produced impact-generated Mars ejecta, and a fraction of this debris is delivered to Earth as Martian meteorites. Another fraction of the ejecta is delivered to the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. Here, we studied the amount and condition of recent delivery of impact ejecta from Mars to its moons. Using state-of-the-art numerical approaches, we report, for the first time, that materials delivered from Mars to its moons are physically and chemically different from the Martian meteorites, which are all igneous rocks with a limited range of ages. We show that Mars ejecta mixed in the regolith of its moons potentially covers all its geological eras and consists of all types of rocks, from sedimentary to igneous. A Martian moons sample-return mission will bring such materials back to Earth, and the samples will provide a wealth of “time-resolved” geochemical information about the evolution of Martian surface environments.”