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A Shake Up For Mars Sample Return

A Shake Up For Mars Sample Return

On April 15th 2024, NASA hosted a media teleconference giving updates on the current status of the agency’s Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission. MSR is a vital step in providing high fidelity environmental data which could dramatically inform the technology and methodology for a planned human mission to the Red Planet. During the conference NASA Administrator Bill Nelson highlighted the projected arrival of the sample retrieval lander as 2040—in the same decade currently anticipated for Artemis missions to Mars. This alongside a projected 11 billion dollar price tag and the restrictive budget currently allotted to NASA poses a genuine risk to other science missions. Both the Dragonfly and NEO Surveyor missions were described as potential targets for “cannibalization” to reserve more resources for an accelerated Mars Sample Return based on the current architecture.

Published by Space Scout on 04/16/2024

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