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NASA Brings Home Parts on Mars (in the Darth Vader Helmet)

WASHINGTON – Scientists studying Mars have been wanting parts of the Red Planet on Earth for decades, and they're finally getting shot. task design to get such souvenirs.

The legacy of the lunar rocks carefully collected here at the Apollo program reshaped the science of the moon and the Earth. one Mars Sample Return Mission it can offer the same type of potential, but Red Planet is a more intimidating destination than the moon. More intimidating but worth the effort, Brian Muirhead, Return of Mars Sample NASA's mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California is here at a presentation at the 70th International Congress of Astronomy.

Sak If we're going to answer the toughest questions on Mars today, for example, if life has come up on Mars – we'll have to bring material, Mu Muirhead said. Mars to our terrestrial labs. "

About: Photos: NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Mission to the Red Planet

Regulating the task of bringing back samples is a challenge that NASA wants to jointly address with the European Space Agency. "This process is interrelated, everything is somehow connected to everything," Muirhead said. There are many spacecraft components: NASA's Mars 2020 rover to select samples, a “receiver rover için to take these samples, a rocket to fling them from the Red Planet, a capsule to bring them back to Earth.

Mars 2020 will leave next summer and set out for the Jezero crater for landing in February 2021. He will conduct his own investigations and move away interesting rocks to bring his successor home.

This task could begin in 2026, Muirhead said. The early days of the mission will be quite typical for any of them. Red Planet mission. One of the first major challenges of the mission is that spacecraft engineers take more weight than previous missions on Mars. This will prolong the descending process of concern, which disturbs the Mars spacecraft personnel due to the risk of the vehicle hitting the surface.

"Once upon a time in Mars, we will enter, land and land our celebrities. seven minute terror"We'll probably be about eight or nine minutes of terror," he said.

When this spacecraft lands, Mars 2020 will carefully dispense the collection vehicle that will set out to collect the sample containers. It will be smaller than the curiosity of this traveling machine and curiosity Spirit and Opportunity, Muirhead said.

Fetch rover Rosalind Franklin rover He concluded that the European Space Agency sent it on a timeline similar to Mars 2020, but it would look very different from its old brother. "ExoMars is a serious science rover; it's an accelerator." Said. "This is a fast-moving, highly autonomous rover," he said about planned travel statistics.

The next step in the task list is to collect samples for a long journey to Earth. Scientists are designing a return capsule that can safely carry 30 rock samples and two air samples. Tümü All of this fits with Darth Vader's helmet, Mu Muirhead said. At this point in the task, the sample container is sterilized to ensure that it is not sealed and loose Mars' material enters freely on earth.

While many spacecraft traveled to the Red Planet, none of them took their steps. "This one-way trip to fly to Mars is quite traditional," Muirhead said. Said. “This is a particularly challenging return journey.” The vehicle will rely on the electric drive to move to Earth, where it will take the sample assembly in 2031.

Team does not want to use parachutesMuirhead & # 39; s "most famous difficult" he said; instead, the capsule will proceed in its own way throughout the Earth's atmosphere. This means that the vehicle must be slowed down carefully so that it does not jump to the surface, but it does not have to slow down as much as the atmospheric friction will burn.

At the end of his presentation, Muirhead asked a few questions from the audience who struggled with certain aspects of the mission design discussed. An audience member stressed that the return feature will not test the types of vehicles that can bring people home. Another idea that the mission could be cheaper if you ignore the risk of allowing The material of Mars is loose in the biosphere on earth..

In both cases, Muirhead stressed that a Mars sample return mission would be related to the scientific secrets kept in these examples. “This task is about bringing back examples, ilgili he said of planetary protection. "I am not sure that there is a simpler solution than we thought, from the architectural point of view and the integrity of the science samples."

Email or follow Meghan Bartels at @meghanbartels. Follow us Twitter & # 39; from I @Spacedotco and above Facebook.

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