Jul 29, 2020

Bringing Mars back to Earth

A new rover built by Nasa and named Perseverance will land on Mars in February 2021 using the "Sky crane" method. The rover will store its samples in metal canisters - but leave them behind on the Martian surface to continue its mission. Perserverance's plutonium-based power supply could keep the rover trundling around Mars for 10 years or more. Later this decade - after 2026 - a second, smaller rover, to be built by the European Space Agency, will arrive on Mars. The canisters will be loaded into a protective container and placed into a small rocket - the Mars Ascent Vehicle or MAV. This will blast into the sky, placing the container into orbit around Mars.

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