Curation protocol of Phobos sample returned by Martian Moons eXplorationOPEN ACCESS 

Ryota Fukai, Tomohiro Usui, Wataru Fujiya, Yoshinori Takano, Ken-ichi Bajo, Andrew Beck, Enrica Bonato, Nancy L. Chabot, Yoshihiro Furukawa, Hidenori Genda, Yuki Hibiya, Fred Jourdan, Thorsten Kleine, Mizuho Koike, Moe Matsuoka, Yayoi N. Miura, Frédéric Moynier, Ryuji Okazaki, Sara S. Russell, Hirochika Sumino, Michael E. Zolensky, Haruna Sugahara, Shogo Tachibana, Kanako Sakamoto, Masanao Abe, Yuichiro Cho, Kiyoshi Kuramoto

MAPS, Version of Record online: 11 January 2024


“Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission will launch a spacecraft in 2024 to return samples from Phobos in 2029. Curatorial work for the returned Phobos samples is critical for the sample allocation without degrading the sample integrity and subsequent sample analysis that will provide new constraints on the origin of Phobos and the evolution of the circum-Mars environment. The Sample Analysis Working Team of the MMX is designing the sample curation protocol. The curation protocol consists of three phases: (1) quick analysis (extraction and mass spectrometry for gases), (2) pre-basic characterization (bulk-scale observation), and (3) basic characterization (grain-by-grain observation and allocation of the sample aliquots). Nondestructive analyses within the clean chamber (e.g., visible and near-infrared spectral imaging) and outside the chamber (e.g., gas mass spectrometry) are incorporated into the curation flow in coordination with the MMX mission instrument teams for ground-truthing the remote-sensing data sets. The MMX curation/sample analysis flow enables the seamless integration between the sample and remote-sensing data sets to maximize the scientific value of the collected Phobos samples.”