MSSS Small Bodies (Comets, Asteroids, Small Moons) Research
The martian moon, Phobos, as it appeared to the MGS MOC in June 2003. The MOC was operated by MSSS. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) President, Michael Malin, was a member of NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission which explored the asteroid, 433 Eros, in detail in 2000 and early 2001. Michael Malin was also a science team member on NASA's Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) mission; the CONTOUR spacecraft was lost during its interplanetary cruise phase in 2002. MSSS has been involved with multiple proposals for future opportunities to explore asteroids and comets, including proposals in 1996 and 2000 to explore the Jovian Trojan asteroid, 624 Hektor. In addition, MSSS cameras on Mars Global Surveyor (the Mars Orbiter Camera, MOC) and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (the Context Camera, CTX) acquired images of two small bodies in our Solar System: the martian satellites Phobos and Deimos.