The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced September 10 plans to develop a “Super Hi-Vision Camera” that will be capable of capturing 4k and 8k images of Mars and its moons Phobos and Deimos.
JAXA began the development of the Martian Moon eXploration (MMX) sample return mission in June 2015. The mission aims to understand the origins of the Martian moon and how the Martian system evolved.
Expected to be launched 2024, the MMX spacecraft is designed to retrieve at least 10g of regolith particles (sand) from the surface of the Martian moon, Phobos. The spacecraft will then perform several flybys of the smaller moon, Deimos before returning the regolith sample back to Earth by 2029.
In a September 10 press release, JAXA announced plans to develop a new camera for the MMX mission that would be the first to capture 8k ultra high definition images of Mars and its moons. The project is being developed in partnership with the country’s national broadcast, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK).
Images taken by the “Super Hi-Vision Camera” will be captured at regular intervals as the MMX spacecraft completes its mission. According to an NHK press release, the images will then be “partially transmitted to Earth.” The original raw image data will be stored in the spacecraft’s sample return capsule for the trip back to Earth.