An artist’s impression of ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter spacecraft that is part of the Mars Sample Return series of missions to bring back samples from Mars. The image shows the elements of Earth Return Orbiter. Including the basketball-sized container with samples from Mars, the Orbit Insertion Module – a chemical propulsive stage for inserting the spacecraft into Mars orbit that is ejected to save mass on the return to Earth – and the Earth entry capsule that will splash down on Earth. (Credit: ESA)
PARIS (ESA PR) — If you could bring something back from Mars to Earth, what would you choose? This question is becoming reality, as ESA opens a call for scientists to join a NASA team working to determine which martian samples should be collected and stored by the Perseverance rover set to launch this Summer.
Perseverance is a standalone mission seeking signs of habitable conditions on our neighbour planet, but it is also part of the international Mars Sample Return campaign that ESA Member States agreed to finance last year during Space19+.
Traveling over 53 million km to Mars, landing, collecting samples and launching a vehicle to return to Earth is unprecedented. This campaign will ...