One of the great successes of the Apollo mission was the collection of samples from the moon that were returned to Earth for study. Even 50 years later, these specimens still lead to new scientific breakthroughs. And NASA hopes to replicate that success with its Mars 2020 mission, which aims to collect samples from Mars as it launches next year.
The challenge is how to bring them back to Earth. If the mission is successful, this will be the first time a sample has been taken from another planet. "Apollo 1
NASA revealed more details about its sampling plans focused on the Jezero crater where the Mars 2020 rover will land. The rover will collect samples and can perform a basic on-site analysis, then two subsequent missions will be required to bring those samples back to Earth. The first of these missions will be landing a rocket called the Mars Ascent Vehicle, along with a spacecraft and a second rover in the crater, then launching samples into orbit around Mars. The second mission will meet the samples and bring them back to Earth.
To achieve this monumental feat, NASA will partner with other space agencies such as the European Space Agency. The mission ties in with NASA's broader mission for eventual missions to Mars, set by an outpost on the moon as part of the Artemis Project.
"NASA and the European Space Agency solidify these exciting concepts of the sampling mission," Zurbuchen said. "Just as the first samples returned to Earth from the Sea of Peace of the Moon become history, the first samples returned to Earth from another planet will make history and will surprise us again. And these samples will come from Marter "Jezero Crater".