NASA is advancing to bring Mars rocks back to Earth

NASA is advancing to bring Mars rocks back to Earth

This example shows the NASA Mars Rise Vehicle concept carrying samples into Mars orbit.

NASA / JBL-Caltech

Sending a spacecraft to Mars is one thing. Landing on the surface, picking up parts of the planet and bringing them back to Earth is another matter. But NASA is going to try to do that.

On Tuesday, NASA announced Results of an Independent Review Board (IRP) assessment Its planned Mars Model Revenue (MSR) mission will bring the red planet back to study for our scientists for a long time to come.

“Following the agency’s exploring the ambitious Mars model revenue plan, the board’s report is ready for the NASA campaign, making decades of scientific advances and technological advances in Mars research,” it concludes. NASA said in a statement on Tuesday.

The IRP has issued detailed recommendations to NASA and its partner, the European Space Agency (ESA), on establishing offices that will enable them to work more smoothly together. It also called for independent assessments of hardware and resources and a new vision of the budget, which is expected to top the $ 4 billion for the initial stages of the campaign.

NASA already has an important part of the big mission. The Diligence Rover Goes to Mars with a planned arrival in February 2021. The rover has a series of sample tubes that can be used to collect rocks and soil for later recovery by the MSR.

These projects require a number of key components from the ESA, including the “Pitch” rover, which will diligently collect the remaining sample tubes and transport them into a NASA-made Mars rover, which will orbit around Mars. An ESA Earth Return Orbiter will meet with that vehicle in Mars orbit and bring us samples.

If it seems complicated, that’s the reason. This is one of the reasons why NASA started as “the earliest independent study of the major strategic mission of any NASA science mission directorate.”

NASA and ESA hope to launch the next phase of MSR from the mid-late 2020s. If all goes well, beautiful pieces of Mars could be delivered to Earth in the 2030s.

Said Thomas Surbuchen, NASA Associate Administrator for Science, “Ultimately, I hope this model is worth the effort and help us answer key astronomical questions about the Red Planet – we’re one step ahead of our ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars.”

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