NASA Plans to Bring to Earth a Piece of Mars

Airbus tapped to design Fetch Mars rover

ESA has now awarded the initial £3.9 million (US$5.2 million) contract to design the new Fetch rover to Airbus, which will undertake the study in Stevenage, England. Then, yet another spacecraft will rendezvous with the ascent vehicle in Mars orbit (again, this has never been done before), transfer the samples (never been done), and then that second spacecraft will depart Mars orbit and come back to Earth (you guessed it, that's obviously never been done either).

The rover will be created to collect soil sample canisters left behind by NASA's Mars 2020 rover, and will have to detect these canisters and place them in its storage space after driving to them autonomously.

Ben Boyes, who will lead the feasibility team at Airbus, explained that Fetch will be a relatively small rover - about 130 kg - but what is required of it is very demanding. The Mars 2020 rover is on the search for, amongst other things, signs of past microbial life on the martian surface and is set for launch in July/August 2020. The mission is a part of a collaboration between Nasa and ESA that was announced in April this year.

"Accomplishments in robotic exploration in recent years have increased confidence in success - multiple launches will be necessary to deliver samples from Mars".

Knox wins playoff for Irish Open title
However, the wheels were soon looking wobbly on "Von Rooyen's Express" and all-and-sundry, including Knox taking full advantage. It is the first time Knox has been in the world's top-50 since August 2017 having dropped as low at 137th in May this year.

If all goes according to plan, the first samples of Martian soil on Earth before the end of the next decade - and the first footage of a liftoff from Mars. The samples will re-enter Earth's atmosphere and land in the United States of America before the end of the next decade. The team is already working on the ExoMars rover, which will reach Mars in 2021.

"Bringing samples back from Mars is essential in more than one way".

The Toulouse, France-based company said Thursday that the Mars Sample Return mission will involve sending the Mars Sample Fetch Rover to the red planet's surface to retrieve 36 tubes containing soil samples, which NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission will have collected and left for pick-up.

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