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A Free, Online Course Exploring the Science of Phobos and Deimos

Posted by Casey Dreier

19-09-2015 16:23 CDT

Topics: explaining science, Mars, Phobos, Deimos

Here's a great opportunity to brush up on (or generate) your knowledge of the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos. NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) is sponsoring a free, online course on the science and exploration potential of Phobos and Deimos, featuring a series of lectures by experts in planetary science.

I'm particularly interested in this, of course, because of our forthcoming workshop report highlighting a human mission to explore Phobos in 2033. But these will be great for any space fan who wants to bring their understanding of the Mars system to the next level.

HiRISE view of Phobos, March 23, 2008

NASA / JPL / U. Arizona

HiRISE view of Phobos, March 23, 2008
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this beautifully detailed view of Mars' moon Phobos on March 23, 2008. The full-size version has a resolution of 5.8 meters per pixel, revealing many tiny craters in Phobos' smooth plains. A color version is also available.

These talks are broadcast live every Monday at 12:00 pm Pacific/3:00 pm Eastern/19:00 UTC, from September through the first week in December of 2015.

More information (and the archive of each lecture) is available at

Also, a reading list of important papers has been made available.


Sept 14: Introduction [discovery, physical properties, orbit…]; Dan Britt
Sept 21: The Age and Cratering History of Phobos; N. Schmedemann
Sept 28: The Formation & Effects of Stickney Impact on Phobos; K. Ramsley
Oct 5: The Character and Origin of Phobos’ Grooves; J. Murray
Oct 12: Ambiguity of Compositional Data for Phobos and Deimos; A. Rivkin/R. Klima
Oct 19: Geology and Geomorphology of Phobos and Deimos; S. Basilevsky
Oct 26: Origin of Phobos: Capture; J. Burns
Nov 2: Origin of Phobos: Co-accretion, Big Impact; R. Canup
Nov 9: Properties of Meteorite Analogues; C. Herd
Nov 16: Microgravity Within Mars’ Gravity Well; D. Scheeres
Nov 23: Space Weathering and Regolith, Dust; C. Pieters/M. Horanyi
Nov 30: Phobos-Deimos ISRU; P. Metzer/R. Mueller
Dec 7: Phobos as an Exploration Destination and Base for Mars Exploration; M. Gernhardt

See other posts from September 2015


Or read more blog entries about: explaining science, Mars, Phobos, Deimos


Messy: 09/21/2015 09:12 CDT

The New York TIMES has an op-ed on the issue of people to Mars:®ion=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region& They seem to be against it.

Jonathan Ursin: 09/21/2015 10:51 CDT

That's a pretty weakly written editorial. People have suffered much worse conditions than those the astronauts going to Mars would go through.

Nitin: 09/21/2015 11:23 CDT

u doing such wonderful job for world

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