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NASA and ESA sign letter of intent to take soil samples from Mars

NASA and ESA, the American and European Space Agency respectively, have plans to take soil samples on Mars and then send them to Earth. For the time being, it is a declaration of intent and a feasibility study is being carried out.

The ESA has placed a statement on its website in which the plans are explained. Research will be carried out into the possibilities of bringing soil samples from Mars to Earth with the help of two Marsrovers; one from NASA, and one from the ESA. Clear plans have already been formulated for this part of the mission: NASA will launch a new Marsrover in 2020, while ESA intends to do so in 2021.
The second part of the mission is not yet planned, but consists of launching another Marslander, one that will only occupy itself with collecting the soil samples collected by the two other carts, and then bringing them to the spaceship. Sending a spaceship to Mars that can also set course to earth after it has been filled with soil samples is obviously the most difficult part of the mission and what the scientists will be looking at in the coming period.
Soil samples from Mars can, among other things, yield knowledge about the origin of the Red Planet. Research on the samples could also help to search for extraterrestrial life. Whether the mission will actually come depends on the feasibility. Next year the results of the feasibility study will be presented and it will be clear whether there will be green light for the Mars mission.

 

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