This artist's concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays the launch of an ascent vehicle. The solar panels in the foreground are part of a rover.
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Martian Samples Leaving Mars (Artist's Concept)

This artist's concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays the launch of an ascent vehicle. The solar panels in the foreground are part of a rover. The rover would have delivered to the ascent vehicle a cache of Martian rock samples that would have been left on the surface by a previous sample-collection rover. The ascent vehicle would release its sample container in Martian orbit, to be retrieved by a spacecraft for carrying the samples to Earth.

NASA and the European Space Agency are collaborating on proposals for a mission to gather samples of Martian rocks and bring them to Earth after 2020. This illustration depicts preliminary concepts, not finished design.

Image details

ID#:
PIA14265

Date added:
2011-06-20

Mission:
Mars Sample Return

Rating:



Views:
4,201

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA14265.tif (104.17 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA14265.jpg (2.59 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech