A team of scientists and engineers at the Johnson Space Center has been studying an innovative approach for a Mars sample return mission. The key concept in this new approach is to use in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) technology to manufacture at Mars the necessary propellants to return the samples to Earth. The mission is called the Mars ISRU Sample Return (MISR). The chief benefit of such an approach is that the total mission cost can be significantly reduced compared to alternatives where all propellants are transported from Earth to Mars. While on the surface, MISR will collect and containerize 2.5 kilograms of intelligently-selected martian rock, soil, and atmosphere samples using a microrover that is teleoperated by scientists on Earth.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
- Pub Date:
- March 1996
- IN-SITU RESOURCE UTILIZATION;
- MARS: SAMPLE RETURN;