The signing of a statement of intent by both NASA and ESA marks the beginning of an exploration. It is about bringing soil samples to Earth from Mars. Milestones have been made regarding the details of the planet. Soon, the process of knowing the planet better will begin. The matter has been taken with a lot of seriousness because it means a lot. How does the expected journey look like? Continue reading to know the answer.
It does not come as a surprise that the undertaking will not be easy. According to the experts, there will be not less than three missions to the Mars from the Earth. In addition to that, there will the launching of a rocket to Mars. That will be the first of its kind. It has never happened before.
The 2020 Mars Rover of NASA will carry out the first mission. What will it involve? The main exercise will be collecting surface samples. While at it, it will also be exploring the planet. It will fill 31 canisters that are the size of a pen. That and another mission will be happening simultaneously. In 2021, the ExoMars rover of ESA will land on the Red Planet. The two projects will happen at around the same time. The purpose of the second rover will be different. It will do some drilling of about two meters below the earth’s surface. The aim of the exercise will be to see whether there is evidence of life on Mars.
There will be a second mission after that. Another rover will go and collect the samples collected earlier. It will then put them in a Mars Ascent Vehicle. That small rocket will be responsible for the launching of the samples into the orbit of Mars.
The third one would be more of a climax. There will be a spacecraft containing sample containers that will visit the Mars orbit. Once there, samples will be secured in the containers. Upon returning to Earth, a quarantine will become a new home for them. That will be while awaiting an extensive research by a group of international scientists.
The signing occurred in the ILA Berlin. The key players were David Parker of ESA and Thomas Zurbuchen of NASA. Their posts are Director of Human and Robotic Exploration and Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate. Each party is aware of what to do and how it can support the other. What now remains and the actual start.