Moons of Mars: New theory for their past and future

This conceptual image illustrates how Phobos, a moon of Mars, eventually may disintegrate and form a ring around the planet, according to a new theory from Purdue University scientists. (Image credit: Purdue University Envision Center)
A NASA-funded mission concept led by Professor David Minton flew a CubeSat to Mars and used the atmosphere of Mars to slow the small satellite’s trajectory, capturing it into orbit in the first demonstration of this aerocapture technique in space flight. Data obtained on the mission informed Purdue researchers’ new theory on the moons of Mars. (Image credit: David Minton, with elements furnished by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory/University of Arizona)



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