Bringing Mars rocks to Earth: Our greatest interplanetary circus act

Topics Mars Mission | Earth | NASA

Send a robotic spacecraft to Mars, grab some rocks and dirt and bring those back to Earth.

How hard could that be? It’s more like an interplanetary circus act than you might imagine, but NASA and the European Space Agency think that now is the time they can finally pull off this complex choreography, tossing the rocks from one spacecraft to another before the samples finally land on Earth in 2031. “The science community, of course, has lusted after doing this for quite some time,” said James Watzin, the.....

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