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Please bear in mind I have very little space/astronomy knowledge with any comments or answers but I am curious and quite keen to learn.

Aside from Mars itself as that is such a likely candidate, what would be the next most likely space planet or one of its moons (no asteroids or comets please) for a rock, soil or other sample to be brought back to Earth?

Leaving a "Rover" on the surface (so we are excluding the gas giants sadly unless planned on a gaseous sample) is fine too but the sample should be sent back.

Excluding the planet Mars, which planet or moon "samples" are most likely be returned next?

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    $\begingroup$ "Aside from Mars itself as that is such a likely candidate, what would be the next most likely space body to look to bring a rock/soil sample back to earth.", that's going to be the Japanese Hayabusa2 in late 2020. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 11:28
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    $\begingroup$ there seem to be two questions here: which are we most likely to be able to and choose to; and which would be "beneficial". The latter is highly opinion-based. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 14:07
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    $\begingroup$ I've adjusted your question so that answers can be fact-based. In Stack Exchange we should't ask "What do you think?" or similar questions where the answers can be primarily opinion-based. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 1:04
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Thank you for taking the time to do that. I appreciate the edit to better compose the question. $\endgroup$
    – AndyF
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 9:07
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    $\begingroup$ For what is it probably not worth the primary reason I initially said to exclude Mars (the planet itself only , not excluding any of its moons) was simply as it appeared (to an unqualified mind such as myself) to be by far the most likely suggestion given we have a fair bit of activity there. That and the fact we already have samples from our own main moon, pleased I did not have to mention excluding that one as common sense prevailed. $\endgroup$
    – AndyF
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 9:14

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One mission planned for launch inv2024 is the Japanese Martian Moons EXploration. MMX will land on Phobos to collect and return samples, as well as flying by Deimos and studying the Martian climate.

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  • $\begingroup$ What is Maxwell? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 2:26
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    $\begingroup$ Maxwell is my device getting away from me, which I attempted to correct. If I were ever to go to Mars I would mistype it with my fat, uncoordinated fingers and the entire social media world would see me going to Mercury. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 2:48
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    $\begingroup$ Yes Phobos is fine, as although I purposely excluded Mars I was deliberately careful to not attempt to exclude any of its moons/orbiting bodies. $\endgroup$
    – AndyF
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 9:11

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