Bringing soil samples and rocks from the Mars to Earth is the new mission of both US and European space agencies. They are now planning to work together to accomplish this task and open some new horizons of the outer world and specifically Mars. NASA and ESA have signed a letter of intent which is drafted leading the first round trip to the planet Mars. This venture is accompanied by the scientists to being the rocks, and soil samples from there for further research.
This joint mission was announced in Berlin, Germany at a meeting which was attended by the major scientists of both the agencies. In the meeting, the science, goals, and feasibility of Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission were discussed. The critical points were raised, and the prospects of its success were talked about. There is a huge prospective vision of this venture where the key questions about Martian History could get answered. It will also enclose whether the Red Planet once hosted life or not.
As per the scientists, there is a vast opportunity which can be explored and learned from the Martian meteorites. Also, the rovers and static landers sent to the planet can disclose many important answers. The next step had to be a mission that would retrieve samples from the Martian surface, blast them into space in a capsule and land them safely on Earth.
Once the soil sample and rocks from the Mars reach the Earth, they could be studied in detail in the laboratories with the help of different instruments that are too big and power-hungry to carry as part of a robotic rover’s payload. The techniques which are not feasible to use directly in the Mars can now be performed in the rocks and soil sample from the Mars.
As per Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science, “NASA is doing a partnership with the European Space Agency but is also willing to shake hands with other space agencies and partners.” Further, he added that these link-ups with commercial space sector are highly promising and could benefit both the agencies in the commercial market.
Dave Parker, director of human and robotic exploration at ESA contributed in the meeting and said, it’s very important that every mission we send to Mars discovers something slightly unusual. It’s on the basis of that that we tend to plan the next mission or next missions.”