PIA24870: Mars Sample Return Concept Illustration
 Target Name:  Mars
 Mission:  Mars Sample Return (MSR) 
 Product Size:  4000 x 2250 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA24870.tif (26.51 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA24870.jpg (1.085 MB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

This illustration shows a concept for multiple robots that would team up to ferry to Earth samples collected from the Mars surface by NASA's Mars Perseverance rover.

NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) are developing concepts for the Mars Sample Return program designed to retrieve the samples of Martian rocks and soil being collected and stored in sealed tubes by Perseverance. In the future, the samples would be returned to Earth for detailed laboratory analysis.

The current concept envisions delivering a Mars lander near Jezero Crater, where Perseverance (far left) is caching, or collecting, samples. A NASA-provided Sample Retrieval Lander (far right) would carry a NASA rocket (the Mars Ascent Vehicle), and a second lander, pictured in the background, would carry ESA's Sample Fetch Rover (center), which is a little smaller than a golf cart. The fetch rover would gather the cached samples left on the surface by Perseverance and transport them to the Sample Retrieval Lander, where they would then be transferred onto the Mars Ascent Vehicle. Perseverance could also deliver additional samples directly to the lander. The Mars Ascent Vehicle would launch a container with the samples inside into orbit. Waiting in Mars orbit would be an ESA-provided Earth Return Obiter, which would rendezvous with and capture the orbiting sample container using a NASA-provided Capture, Containment, and Return System. This system would capture and orient the container, then prepare it for return to Earth inside the Earth Entry System.

For more information, visit: mars.nasa.gov/msr.

Image Credit:

Image Addition Date: