NASA has shared a video that sets out the complex steps required to bring the first samples of Martian rocks to Earth. it shows.
The US Space Agency’s endurance drone digs the Jezero crater and stores samples to be studied for microbial life on the Red Planet. At the end of the mission, the endurance will keep these specimens in sealed containers to return them to the ground.
As you can see in this video, the return mission of the Mars prototype, carried out by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency), involves several complex steps and requires several different vehicles.
Here is a summary of this plan:
- First, a rocket launches the spacecraft from Earth to Mars.
- As they approach the Red Planet, the spacecraft lands a lander on the surface of Mars.
- The lander receives sealed samples from the surface of Mars collected by the endurance rover.
- A small rocket fires the collected samples into orbit around Mars, where it is transferred to the waiting orbit.
- The orbiter brings the collected samples from Mars by throwing them into the capsule at the end of the journey to Earth.
In an online post, NASA spoke about the challenging mission and talked about the obstacles the team must overcome in order for the samples to reach the ground successfully.
For example, complete sealing of specimens should be ensured to prevent contamination during travel and to ensure that the earth’s environment is not contaminated. “There is also a risk of transmitting any living creatures on this journey,” says NASA.
This means that engineers must seal and sterilize the sample container without damage. The team is currently investigating a soldering method that involves melting a metal alloy into a liquid that binds the metal.
“One of our biggest challenges right now is that the metal is melting at 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (538 degrees Celsius),” said Brendan Feihan, a system engineer who is part of the team putting the samples into orbit and returning them to Earth. . So we have to keep the samples at the hottest temperature they’ve ever experienced on Mars, at about 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). “Preliminary results from soldering tests confirm that we are on the right track.”
If successful, such a technique could be used for sample return missions on Jupiter’s orbiting moon (which Europe focuses on) or Enceladus (one of Saturn’s moons). “This way we can collect new specimens from the oceans that contain extraterrestrial organisms and bring them back to Earth,” says Feyhan. “So we have to find a way to do that.”
There is definitely a long way to go. Scientists hope to receive a small capsule containing Martian samples on Earth by 2030 and provide exciting information for people and researchers for years to come.