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techkenyot.com October 19, 2018


Airbus working on Mars rover to bring soil samples back to Earth

11 July 2018, 08:18 | Edward Lowe

Airbus working on Mars rover to bring soil samples back to Earth

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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 European Space Agency (ESA) has issued contracts for technology proposals to build a Mars rover to collect soil samples, and a return orbiter craft to bring them safely home. With those funds, Airbus will develop its own Mars rover created to complete what NASA has started. "The close collaboration between the United Kingdom and ESA will place Britain at the forefront of innovative missions to explore the Moon, Mars and beyond", said Peake. The deal is worth £3.9 million, which is over $5.1 million Dollars, and follows on the heels of the Mars 2020 mission which will include another rover built by the same company. The Mars 2020 rover will reach the Red Planet in 2020.

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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. The vehicle will then film it when the rocket blasts off, recording the first liftoff from Mars.

Clearly it would be a mission of huge firsts for humanity, but the real action will start once the samples show up here on Earth. This will mark the first time Mars samples have been delivered to our own planet.

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ESA chose Airbus' team in Stevenage, England, which is already building the ExoMars rover, scheduled for Mars in 2021.

A mission to return samples from Mars isn't of much use if they don't actually return, which is why ESA is working on a new robotic rover to retrieve containers of Martian rock and soil left behind by NASA's Mars 2020 rover.

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"I am very pleased that with these two studies now being commissioned and in combination with other studies conducted elsewhere in Europe we make another important step to explore Mars".



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