Artist's Concept of the Earth Entry System for Mars Sample Return
This artist's concept shows Mars Sample Return Earth Entry System. The vehicle would bring curated Martian samples collected by NASA's Perseverance Rover on the final leg of their journey from Mars to Earth.
The illustration shows the Earth Entry System, a capsule about 4 feet (1.25 meters) in diameter, on its final approach to Earth, after being ejected from the Earth Return Orbiter. Once in Earth's atmosphere, it would take the vehicle about six minutes to land at the U.S. Air Force's Utah Test and Training Range in west-central Utah. Velocity at time of touchdown for the parachute-less capsule is expected to be about 90 mph (40 meters per second).
The Earth Entry System is part of the multi-mission Mars Sample Return program being planned by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).
For more information, visit: mars.nasa.gov/msr.