As the firmament traces the site of an ancient lake that has existed for billions of years, it collects rock and soil. This material is important because it may contain evidence of past microorganisms that would reveal whether life exists on Mars. Scientists will have the opportunity to use some of the most advanced instruments from around the world to study these precious specimens.
The ambitious Mars sample return program involves collaboration between the two agencies to collect 30 samples from the Red Planet. Several missions to Mars will be launched later this decade to collect samples and return them safely.
The program is nearing the end of the conceptual design phase, and NASA has completed a review of the system requirements. According to NASA officials, the modifications lead to changes that will reduce the complexity of future missions and increase the chances of success.
“The conceptual design phase is when every aspect of mission planning is brought under the microscope,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said in a statement. “There have been several significant and favorable changes to the plan, which can be directly attributed to the recent success of Perseverance at Jezero and the impressive performance of our Mars probe.”
Now, persistence will be the primary mode of transport for carrying samples for testing. Recent assessments of the rover’s health and life expectancy indicate that it should remain in perfect condition for sampling by 2030. Persistence will return to the probe, and the rover’s robotic arm will carry the sample.
Sampler Recovery The sampler will carry two sample recovery helicopters, similar to the Ingenuity-style helicopter currently on the surface of Mars – rather than a single pickup vehicle.
“The recent operations of the Ingenuity Helicopter on Mars, which has completed 29 flights – more than 24 flights – have shown us the potential benefits of Mars Helicopters,” said Jeff Gramling, director of the Mars Sample Returns Program.
The engineers were impressed by the display of creativity. The helicopter lived out more than a year of its life expectancy. If Perseverance cannot return the sample to the probe, a small helicopter will be able to fly away from the probe, and use weapons to retrieve and return the sample.
The two typical return helicopters would be the same size as the Creativity but a bit heavier. Richard Cook, director of NASA’s Mars Sample Return, said the landing legs will be equipped with small wheels for maneuverability that will allow them to fly as they travel back to Earth, and that each helicopter will have a small arm that lifts a sample tube. could. Program for jet propulsion. Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
If persistence health remains the same for the next eight years and you don’t need any assistance with getting the sample back for testing, a helicopter can monitor and take pictures of the process.
return sample to earth
The sampling rover is also carrying the Mars Ascent Vehicle – the first rocket to be launched from the Martian surface, with samples safely placed inside. The current spacecraft will be launched from Mars in 2031.
A separate mission will be launched from Earth in mid-2020, called the Earth Return Orbiter, which is rendezvous with the Mars Ascent rover.
On top of the Earth Return orbiter is a capture/hold and return system, which will collect sample containers from the Mars Ascent rover while both vehicles are in orbit around Mars.
After that, the Earth Return Probe will return to our world. Once the spacecraft approaches Earth, it will launch an Earth Entry Vehicle containing a sample cache, and the spacecraft will land on Earth in 2033.
Earlier, the agency said that samples could return to Earth in 2031, but the planned launch dates for the orbiter in 2027 and the lander have set new arrival dates in the summer of 2028.
“ESA is continuing development of the full-speed Earth return probe that will make a historic round trip from Earth to Mars and back again; and the sample transfer arm that automatically places the sample tube on top of the orbital sample container in front of it.” is,” said David Parker, Director of Exploration. ESA’s Human and Robotic Launch, in a statement: “Launch from the surface of the Red Planet.”
Dhartha Rath has collected 11 core rock samples so far. The samples represent “an incredible diversity of materials,” said lead scientist Meenakshi Wadwa, a Mars sampler and director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University.
“The latter are, in fact, the finer-grained sedimentary rocks that have the most potential to preserve biometric fingerprints, so we already have a variety of materials in the bag, so to speak, and likely about Very excited,” Wadoa said.
“Working together on historic efforts such as returning samples of Mars not only provides valuable data about our place in the universe but also brings us closer together here on Earth,” Zurbuchen said.