Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Airbus is designing a rover that will retrieve Martian samples

Airbus is designing a rover that will retrieve Martian samples

Airbus was awarded the $5.2 million contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to design a concept for a rover that can collect the samples on Mars.

The brief came from the European Space Agency (ESA), with the aim of collecting and transporting soil samples left by the planned 2020 Mars rover - also now in construction between ESA and Airbus.

An early Sample Fetch Rover design.

That vehicle will put the samples into orbit, after which point they'll be transferred to a spacecraft that will return them to Earth.

Airbus is perhaps known best as a manufacturer of civilian airplanes, though the Netherlands-based company has used its aeronautics know-how to expand into the helicopter market and open a Defence and Space division.

ESA's ExoMars orbiter, which will act as a relay satellite for the Sample Return mission. The first will be NASA's Mars 2020 mission, which will explore the surface of the planet, pick-up and store a set of samples in canisters placed in strategic areas.

David Parker, Director of Human and Robotic Exploration at ESA, highlighted the significance of the proposed mission. The difference is that where Curiosity does all its analysis using its onboard laboratories, Mars 2020 will collect samples and drop them along the way inside of 36 pen-sized metal containers. The ship will be captured in Martian orbit by ESA's Earth Return Orbiter and then head home. For the first time about the flight to Mars Alissa thought in 3 years, when I watched the TV show "the Dreamers". The deal is worth £3.9 million, which is over $5.1 million Dollars, and follows on the heels of the Mars 2020 mission which will include another rover built by the same company. The tubes will be handed off to the rocket which will then blast off and hopefully make its way back to Earth. The objective of the container is to make sure that the samples not only survive, but that the samples will neither be contaminated by Earth microbes or the Earth by any microbes it might contain.

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