This artist's concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays the capture of a collection of Martian samples by a spacecraft orbiting Mars. The samples would have been collected on Mars by a rover and lifted to orbit by an ascent vehicle.
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Rendezvous in Martian Orbit (Artist's Concept)

This artist's concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays the capture of a collection of Martian samples by a spacecraft orbiting Mars. The samples would have been collected on Mars by a rover and lifted to orbit by an ascent vehicle. After this rendezvous, the orbiter would fire its main thruster to escape Mars orbit and begin a return trip to deliver the sample container 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#:
PIA14266

Date added:
2011-06-20

Mission:
Mars Sample Return

Rating:



Views:
3,632

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA14266.tif (70.81 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA14266.jpg (1.48 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech