Phobos and Deimos
The first two "asteroids" seen close up were Mars' two tiny moons, Phobos and Deimos, as part of the exploration of Mars. These moons were first photographed by the American Viking mission in the 1970s using a telescopic lens. Successive Mars missions have also photographed and characterized these moons.
The origin of these moons is actually still controversial. It was long thought that they are captured asteroids. However, this is not at all universally accepted because these objects orbit closer to the plane of Mars' equator rather than the solar system plane, and are in nearly circular orbits, whereby computer modeling is not clear about whether a captured asteroid's orbit could eventually take on such an orbit. Another possibility is that they formed from the same material in which Mars formed, or from material blasted off of Mars by other asteroid imacts.
Scientists have deduced that both Phobos and Deimos are closest to the C1 and C2 carbonaceous chondrite classes of materials.
Both asteroids are irregularly shaped. Deimos is roughly 8 km x 15 km in size. Phobos is 28 km x 19 km. For a size comparison, Earth's Moon is more than 3000 km wide (and spherical).
Both Phobos and Deimos have come close to having been broken apart into smaller fragments. Deimos is U-shaped from one angle. Phobos has an 8 km wide crater -- almost half its width -- and is covered with cracks up to 100 meters wide which the powdery surface has subsided into, and which is lined with "beads" which are volcano-like craters with raised rims formed as the result of great quantities of steam blowing out from the heating of internal volatiles due to that impact. The surface gravity of Mars' moons is so weak that you could escape by simply jumping off of the moon with your legs. That is, if you found a good place to jump from, as they have fluffy surfaces and low densities (just around 2 grams per cubic centimeter).
1970s Viking photos of Phobos and Deimos:
PERMANENT.com > Asteroids, Near Earth Objects (NEO) > Probes to Asteroids and NEOs > Phobos, Deimos (Mars moons)
PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?
There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.
The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.
Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.
This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.
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