Representatives at NASA recently revealed that their scientists are currently engaged in developing a complex mission that seeks to bring to Earth materials from Mars, for the purpose of studying them.
The mission will be the first ever of its kind and will entail the engineering and coordination of very complex crafts such as rockets and rovers. Until now NASA was able to send tools to Mars and subtract specimens of rocks with the help of the Curiosity project. Future plans involve bringing the rock samples back to Earth for evaluation, The Curiosity project head, Ashwin Vasavada said.
A Curiosity rover successor is already in development. The next in line rover will be more complex, and much better equipped, and will be able to detect traces of alien life and produce oxygen and fuel on the planet. This rover will constitute the first step towards scientists’ intention of bringing home materials from the Red Planet.
Vasavada expects the new rover to launch in 2020. The rover will be collecting Martian materials and putting them into a safe, concealed case that will be then dropped and left there as the rover continues its surface exploration. Scientists will then send another rocket and rover on Mars on a connected mission. The rover will be responsible with collecting and depositing the case and bringing it to the rocket. If everything goes according to plan, the rocket will then lift itself off and will begin its orbit around Mars, awaiting the arrival of the final rocket. The mission’s third rocket will gather the Martian materials from the orbiting rocket and finally deliver them down to earth.
The hardest part of the mission is then at an end, and the research of the alien rocks can begin. NASA has planned the first manned mission to Mars by the 2030’s, but Vasavada aims to complete his plans before then. He claims help from parties outside NASA may be necessary, as time is against them and there are a lot of things to be done.
The head of Curiosity project said that the new mission may require international aid. He added that space explorations are at the present state poorly done and that the technology they use isn’t up to date, the reason behind this being the difficulty of keeping the technology on Mars at pace with the one on Earth. In order to evolve in this field, efforts must be put into sending high-tech equipment into outer space.
Image Source: The Telegraph