bring it home
NASA maintains the ambitious goal of shattering samples on Mars and bringing them back to Earth – but top minds at the space agency are still not sure if this is possible or not possible to try.
Now, an independent review board assembled by the space agency recommends that they go for it, Space.com The report, even though it would be the most technically ambitious mission in NASA history. While this would be difficult, he says, the scientific ability to study the rocks of Mars in terrestrial laboratories still transcends the myriad challenges of work.
The board’s report, which dives much into operational logistics, suggests that NASA and ESA may be able to jointly embark on a sample return mission by 2026. But to do this will require a lot of work in a short period of time.
“We unanimously believe that the Mars sample-return program should proceed,” said David Thompson, chairman of the review board. “We think its scientific value will be extraordinarily high, likely from world-changing discoveries about Earth’s closest planetary neighbor, and possibly about an independent origin of life on another world.”
worth the risk
The main challenge is getting ready in time for that 2026 launch window, because the next won’t happen until 2028 – which will push the time frame into part of Mars’ climate cycle which will cause even more headaches. Space.com Report.
But he said, he concluded, the opportunity to analyze the rocks of Mars causes trouble.
“Science will be very exciting,” said MIT’s planetary scientist and review board member Maria Zuber.
Read more: Experts say bringing Mars samples to Earth could cost an additional $ 1 billion, but NASA should do so entirely [Space.com]
More on Mars samples: NASA wants to send sample return mission to Mars