• Thousands of NEAs have been observed out of estimated 285,000 larger than 40 meters. A handful of Martian trojans have been found, but should there be more or fewer NMAs than NEAs?
  • NEAs can become useful resources for spaceflight thanks to their low delta-v relative to Earth. Could NMAs be useful for Mars exploration? For example, perhaps they have more water ice out there, so that fuel for the return trip to Earth could be manufactured in orbit, fuelwise near LMO (Low Mars Orbit), instead of on the surface?
  • $\begingroup$ The "NearMARS" (Near Mars Asteroid Redirect and Sample) mission would silence the quarrel between the pro-Mars and the pro-ARM camps :-D $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia references three cataloged near-Mars objects. I suspect that this is an area where little work has been done to define what is in this category. I know that many near-Earth objects are also near-Mars objects, but I am somewhat doubtful that an easy reference exists of a catalog or list of near-Mars objects. That said, that still makes this a fantastic question, if difficult to answer. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage How can NEA's also be NMA's in terms of low delta-v requirement to reach them from both Earth and Mars? If so, then we should put a Mars cycler in such an orbit. But I suppose there might be intermediate Earth-Mars asteroids. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


These objects aren't of particular interest at the moment, as we would have a hard enough time reaching Near Earth asteroids. However, they offer some potential benefits in the future, namely:

  1. They could provide orbital resources for Mars for fuel and such.
  2. They could assist in transforming Mars (Impacts could provide useful resources, for instance.)

However, they are much more difficult to observe than rocks nearer to Earth, and as a result, would be much more difficult to intercept. They might some day be useful, but I doubt that day happens in my lifetime.

I suspect they are actually more common than NEA, due to the proximity to the Asteroid Belt, however, they are harder to see from Earth, so we don't know about as many.


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