NASA Sets Path to Return Mars Samples, Seeks Innovative Designs

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson shared on Monday the agency’s path forward on the Mars Sample Return program

including seeking innovative designs to return valuable samples from Mars to Earth.

Over the last quarter century, NASA has engaged in a systematic effort to determine the early history of Mars and how it can help us understand the formation and evolution of habitable worlds, including Earth.

“Mars Sample Return will be one of the most complex missions NASA has ever undertaken.

The agency also has released NASA’s response to a Mars Sample Return Independent Review Board report from September 2023.

To achieve the ambitious goal of returning the key samples to Earth earlier and at a lower cost, the agency is asking the NASA community to work together to develop a revised plan that leverages innovation and proven technology.

Our next steps will position us to bring this transformational mission forward and deliver revolutionary science from Mars –

providing critical new insights into the origins and evolution of Mars, our solar system, and life on Earth.”

NASA does visionary science – and returning diverse, scientifically-relevant samples from Mars is a key priority,” said Nicky Fox, associate administrator,

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