21:24 GMT30 July 2021
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - The Japanese government is considering sending a spacecraft to Mars's Phobos satellite in 2024 to obtain soil samples by 2029, public broadcaster NHK reported.

    The agency said that Japan's strategic council has compiled a mid-term report on space policy on Tuesday. According to it, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) intends to launch a probe and reach one of the two satellites of Mars in fiscal 2024. It is expected that the craft with the soil collected from Phobos will be brought back for further study five years later.

    In addition, the government aims to develop a system which makes use of small satellites so that the government can instantly receive information about impending climate disasters.

    Japan is a pioneer in soil sample return missions. Last December, JAXA brought back black sandy dust in a capsule aboard the Hayabusa2 mission. The spacecraft was launched to space in 2014 and scooped up materials from the Ryugu asteroid twice before heading back to Earth.

    Phobos, Mars, Japan
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