Announcement of opportunity for
membership of the Science Board
of the Martian Moons eXploration Mission (MMX)


The outcome of this Announcement of Opportunity was that the following scientists (listed in alphabetical order) were appointed as Members of the Science Board of MMX:
Joern Helbert, Institute for Planetary Research, Berlin, Germany
Sara Russell
, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom


11 June 2019

Through this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) the European Space Agency (ESA) solicits proposals for membership of the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission Science Board, a high-level team of scientists responsible for the overall science management of the MMX mission.

The Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission is a JAXA mission that will fly to Phobos and Deimos, and will sample > 10 g of material from the surface of Phobos for return to Earth.

The key scientific goals of MMX are:

  • To reveal the origin of Mars’ moons, and to improve our understanding of planetary system formation and of primordial material transport around the border between the inner and outer regions in the early Solar System.
  • To observe processes that have impact on the evolution of the Mars system and to advance our understanding of Mars’ surface environmental transition.

The mission will build on the technical and operational experience that JAXA has developed in the field of sample return from small bodies with the Hayabusa missions. The MMX mission is planned to be launched in 2024.

As a result of this AO, ESA will select up to two members of the MMX Science Board. The AO is open to scientists affiliated with institutes in the ESA Member States. The appointments will be ad personam.

An invitation from the ESA Director of Science to respond to this Announcement of Opportunity can be found in the right-hand menu.

Full details of the appointment requirements and conditions, the required contents and format of the proposal, and the evaluation criteria are given in the AO document, available to download from the right-hand menu.


Submission form

Proposals in PDF format must be submitted using the submission form linked below, before the deadline of 20 August 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST.

Proposal Submission Form

The deadline for receipt of proposals has passed.



The schedule for this AO is given in the table below:


Date of AO release 11 June 2019
Due date for proposals 20 August 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST
Appointment of European Science Team members October 2019



Further queries should be addressed to:

Elliot Sefton-Nash
MMX ESA Project Scientist
Directorate of Science
ESA/ESTEC - Noordwijk, The Netherlands


Luigi Colangeli
Head of the Science Coordination Office
Directorate of Science
ESA/ESTEC - Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Last updated: 20 August 2019


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