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Table 1 Mission goals and objectives, and key sample analyses

From: Analytical protocols for Phobos regolith samples returned by the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission

MMX goals MMX objectives Key sample analyses to address objectives
Goal 1. To reveal the origin of the Mars moons, and then to make progress in our understanding of planetary system formation and of primordial material transport around the border between the inner- and the outer-part of the early solar system Objective 1.1. To determine whether the origin of Phobos is captured asteroid or giant impact Texture and mineral composition; major element composition; O- and Cr-isotopes
Objective 1.2a. (In the case of captured asteroid origin) To understand the primordial material delivery process to the rocky planet region and to constrain the initial condition of the Mars surface environment O- and Cr-isotopes; texture and mineral composition; major element composition; volatile/refractory elements; H-, C-, and N-isotopes; organic matter; presolar grains; remnant magnetization; K–Ar systematics; Al–Mg and Mn–Cr systematics; U–Pb systematics
Objective 1.2b. (In the case of giant impact origin) To understand the satellite formation via giant impact and to evaluate how the initial evolution of the Mars environment was affected by the moon forming event O- and Cr-isotopes; texture and mineral composition; major element compositions; isotopes of moderately volatile elements; siderophile elements; K–Ar systematics; U–Pb systematics; Rb–Sr systematics
Objective 1.3. To constrain the origin of Deimos Texture and mineral composition; major element composition; O- and Cr-isotopes
Goal 2. To observe processes that have impact on the evolution of the Mars system from the new vantage point and to advance our understanding of Mars surface environment transition Objective 2.1. To obtain a basic picture of surface processes of the airless small body in its orbit around Mars Space-weathering layer; solar wind and cosmogenic components; micrometeorite bombardment; K–Ar systematics; U–Pb systematics
Objective 2.2. To gain new insight on Mars' surface environment evolution O- and Cr-isotopes; texture and mineral compositions; major element compositions; K–Ar systematics; U–Pb systematics; remnant magnetization; H-isotopes