NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artist's impression of an astronaut skimmming over the surface of Phobos in his personal spacecraft. The parent ship is seen at far right, orbiting Mars which dominates the background. The personal spacecraft has an anchor with which to affix itself to the surface; the gravity on Phobos is only about 1/1000th of that on Earth. The development of such small vehicles and the 'hard' articulated spacesuit worn here are important elements in the proposed manned exploration of the Martian system. The first such mission could be launched as early as 2005, although 2015 seems more likely.
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