PIA14264: Landing on Mars for a Short Stay (Artist's Concept)
Mission: Mars Sample Return
Product Size: 5392 x 4592 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: JPL
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Full-Res JPEG: PIA14264.jpg (2.46 MB)

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This artist's concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays a rocket-powered descent stage lowering a sample-retrieving rover and an ascent vehicle to the surface. The ascent vehicle is in the large cylinder, protecting it from the harsh Martian environment. The rover, with solar-panels in folded position, sits to the right of it. The ascent vehicle would receive samples of Martian rocks that are to be collected by a previous mission and retrieved by the rover. Then it would launch the samples into Martian orbit for a rendezvous with a spacecraft that would carry them to Earth.

NASA and the European Space Agency are collaborating on proposals for a mission to gather samples of Martian rocks and bring them to Earth after 2020. This illustration depicts preliminary concepts, not finished design.

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