THE NASA announced some changes to its project to collect samples from Mars and bring them to Earth in 2033. Among the main highlights is the inclusion of two sample recovery helicopters, based on the Ingenuity helicopter project, which performed 29 flights on the red planet.
“Helicopters will provide a secondary capability to retrieve samples stored on the surface of Mars,” NASA said.
According to a US agency statement, the review of the system requirements for the Mars Sample Return Program has been completed. Now, the conceptual phase of the project is almost ready.
In this phase, NASA evaluated and refined the architecture to return the scientifically selected samples, which are currently in the process of being collected by the Perseverance rover.
“There are some significant and beneficial changes to the plan, which can be directly attributed to Perseverance’s recent successes at Jezero and the incredible performance of our Mars helicopter,” the agency said.
The mission architecture takes into account an analysis of the expected longevity of Perseverance, which will be the main means of transporting samples to the Sample Retrieval Landerwhich will contain the two helicopters, and ESA’s Sample Transfer Arm.
the ESA Earth Return Orbiter and the Sample Retrieval Lande are vital to accurately collecting the samples and bringing them to Earth, as reported by NASA. The first should be released in 2027, while the second a year later.
The two samples are expected to reach Earth in 2033.
Source: CNN Brasil