NASA‘s 2020 Mars mission, Mars Sample Return Programme, scheduled to take place in July, is aiming to bring back samples of the planet back home. Read on to know more. By Tanvi Jain
NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which is scheduled to land on the planet on February 2021, will touch down at the Jezero Crater. The landing point is the site of an ancient lake that existed 3.5 billion years ago. This time the aim is to bring back samples from Mars. The mission is known as Mars Sample Return (MSR) Programme.
The rover, whose name is yet to be decided will search for signs of ancient life, study weather science, and conduct tests.
NASA is even on a lookout for a programme director, and is offering an annual salary of up to INR 1.3 crore. The vacancy has been posted on the US government’s job website.
The project will require three launches in order to successfully accomplish the sample collection, retrieval, and flight home. The collected sample will be loaded into a single large canister on the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV).
The first launch is scheduled to take place in July from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Martian samples will pave the way for future Mars missions.
The next mission known as ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter will aim at capturing a basketball size sample container orbiting Mars.