Mars sample return mission

Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission is being planned by ESA and NASA to study the planet Mars. It should be brought to Earth from Mars for the first time rock samples. The mission is currently in an early stage of development, the start is earlier than expected in 2018. MSR is part of the Aurora program.

The mission will probably be one of the far most complex and expensive ESA missions. There are two separate spacecraft arise, an orbiter and a lander. Both would each take off on board an Ariane 5ECA from the earth. The orbiter will contain the return capsule, which is to bring the samples to Earth. The lander will descend to the Martian surface, collect different samples and then transported into the Mars orbit, where they are loaded into the orbiter.

The mission is to bring a total of 500 g of rock material to Earth. Whether the landing module will also have a Rover, is still unclear. However, safety is a drilling system on board and be the sample of up to 2 m depth can bring to the surface.

Initially wanted to contest the ESA mission alone. The first studies were made ​​to the mission in 2003, you went from a start in 2011, another identical probe was supposed to start in the following year. Later they decided to carry out the mission with NASA. In March 2006, the ESA has set the requirements for the mission to the industry, is a start date of 2018, 2020 or 2022 is called.

NASA also is currently one of the earliest start date from the years 2022 to 2024.