Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Europe’s Mars sample return orbiter moving ahead despite NASA budget uncertainty

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While NASA’s portion of the Mars Sample Return mission sits in budgetary limbo, the European Space Agency (ESA) continues to move forward with its piece of the Red Planet sampling puzzle: the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO).

ERO will provide the crucial transport of Mars samples collected by NASA’s Perseverance rover from the Red Planet to Earth. In order to do so, it will rendezvous with the sample in Martian orbit, catch a basketball-sized capsule whizzing around the planet and finally bring that capsule back to Earth.

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