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Is it possible for anything to land safely of Deimos or Phobos? If so, are there any current or past proposals? If not, why? The only missions to Mars' moons I know of are Phobos 1 and Phobos 2 (both failures.)

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You can land on any celestial body in the solar system provided that its surface is solid. Yes, one can land on either of the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. However, it would be really hard. Both Phobos and Demios are really, really small compared to other moons. Their gravity is so low that landing on either would undoubtedly be a long and bouncy process. As soon as you touch down, if you shut the landing engines off too late, you'll end up shooting up at the sky again. If you're really unlucky, you'll escape their gravity and have to do the whole transfer again. One past proposal was Phobos-Grunt (Russian, failed). Phobos 1 and 2 I believe carried landers (Russian, both failed)

I did some digging on the internet and found the following proposals, all cancelled. "PCROSS, similar to LCROSS, but directed towards Mars' moon Phobos.[108] Merlin, a mission that would place a lander on Mars' moon Deimos.[109] Mars Moons Multiple Landings Mission (M4), would conduct multiple landings on Phobos and Deimos.[110] Hall, a Phobos and Deimos sample return mission.[111] Aladdin, a Phobos and Deimos sample return mission.[112] It was a finalist in the 1999 Discovery selection, with a planned launch in 2001 and return of the samples by 2006.[113] Sample collection was intended to work by sending projectiles into the moons, then collecting the ejecta by means of a collector spacecraft flyby.[113]"

I also found this one, I'm not sure what its status is though "JAXA Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission to launch 2024. Will sample Phobos and flyby Deimos."

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  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble I think I know why it was accepted so quickly. (A) new user, doesn't know to wait until more answers collect. (B) Bias, because I know this guy In-Person. No names will be revealed though, for privacy reasons. $\endgroup$ Nov 10, 2022 at 17:53
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    $\begingroup$ Be careful meta.stackoverflow.com/q/262345 meta.stackexchange.com/q/138517/299013 $\endgroup$ Nov 10, 2022 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think your commentary on accidentally escaping again is correct. Phobos' escape velocity is 41km/h. Deimos' is 20km/h. It's not particularly hard to control a spacecraft's velocity to within 20km/h. $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Nov 10, 2022 at 22:55
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    $\begingroup$ You should also credit the sources of your quotes; based on the frequent citations, that's probably Wikipedia, but you should still indicate that explicitly. $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Nov 10, 2022 at 22:56
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    $\begingroup$ With these kinds of bodies, it's probably more useful to think in terms of "rendezvous" than "landing". $\endgroup$ Nov 11, 2022 at 18:47

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