For the first time ever, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will bring rock samples from Mars back to planet Earth for intense research and study.
NASA announced that the agency was ready to continue its Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign to bring pristine rock samples to the Red Planet.
“The agency created the MSR Independent Review Board (IRB) to assess its early concepts of a groundbreaking international partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) to return the first samples from another planet,” NASA said in one declaration.
We are ready to undertake a new campaign to return the first samples from Mars. This revolutionary partnership with @ESA will build on decades of scientific and technical advancements in the exploration of Mars: https://t.co/Yrc2Gy1P6H pic.twitter.com/FEifWiYM3U
– NASA (@NASA) November 10, 2020
The council’s report ultimately gave NASA the green light to move forward with the plan, after reviewing the plan to return samples from Mars.
“After a thorough review of the agency’s planning over the past few years, the IRB unanimously believes that NASA is now ready to complete the MSR program, the next step in robotic exploration of Mars. “, says the press release.
What will the Mars Rock samples be used for?
The samples collected will be crucial in our further study of the planet. One of the main objectives of research is to “answer the main questions of astrobiology”. Scientists hope to determine if life ever existed on the planet.
I am proud to be the first stop on Mars Sample Return. Things are going well @NASA and @ESA to bring intact samples of Martian rocks back to Earth in the future. https://t.co/vdsPrDMg23 #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/eZyn4M7BIM
– NASA Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) November 10, 2020
“I think this return sample will be worth it and help us answer key astrobiological questions on the Red Planet, moving us closer to our eventual goal of sending humans to Mars,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the NASA for Science at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.
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