Mars Sample Return capsule, artwork

Mars Sample Return capsule, artwork

C011/7638 Rights Managed

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Credit: DAVID DUCROS, CNES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mars Sample Return capsule, artwork. This CNES (French) spacecraft was based on plans proposed in the late 1990s to obtain samples from Mars and return them to Earth. One plan was proposed for launch in 2007, with sample return in 2008. This was cancelled, but various sample return missions are still being planned (such as ExoMars, scheduled for 2018). This design shows the collection spacecraft (which separated from the main spacecraft) releasing a sample container (in aeroshell, centre) to land on Earth. This sample would have been injected into Mars orbit by a lander, for collection by this spacecraft.

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