On the satellite of Mars, they will begin to look for traces of life
Scientists from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have suggested that traces of ancient life that once existed on Mars can be found on its satellite, Phobos. They plan to launch a special mission in 2024 that will take samples from the surface of Phobos and deliver them to Earth, according to The Daily Mail.
Phobos, the largest of the two satellites, is very close to Mars. The distance between them is about three times the radius of Mars (for comparison, there are about 60 Earth radii between the Earth and the Moon).
Several billion years ago, Mars was “attacked” by asteroids. According to scientists, fragments of its rock could fly to Phobos. If they contained living organisms (for example, microbial communities), then their traces could be preserved to this day.
Scientists don't expect to find live bacteria. The surface of Phobos is very inhospitable. It is devoid of air and water and is constantly exposed to powerful cosmic radiation. But there is little chance of finding fossils or fragments of archaic DNA.
The spacecraft of the future mission will make several flights around Phobos in order to choose the most suitable landing site. After that, he will drill the rock and extract cores, which will be delivered to Earth in 2029.
Note that several rovers are currently operating on Mars. But satellites have not yet landed on satellites.
Previously, scientists have created the first map of the interior of Mars. They used seismic waves.