NASA Pushes Back Perseverance Rover Timeline to Bring Back Mars Rock Samples to 2033

The hunt to discover indicators of historic life on Mars entails bringing again rock samples from the Purple Planet — these are at the moment being collected by NASA’s Perseverance rover on the 45-km-wide Jezero Crater. The preliminary plan was to ship a sample-return lander (SRL) by 2026 and get again the samples by 2031. However that timeline seems to have been pushed again. NASA has introduced that the plan would now embrace a further lander due to which the SRL launch date has been pushed again to 2028 and the pattern return to 2033.

Perseverance is engaged on the Jezero Crater as scientists imagine it harboured a lake and a river delta billions of years in the past. The rover is scratching beneath the floor to acquire samples in order that when they’re introduced again to Earth, scientists may have a better look to work out whether or not they maintain any indicators of historic life.

The mission was advanced. For the 2026 launch plan, SRL was to carry a NASA Mars ascent automobile (MAV) and an ESA-built fetch rover. The fetch rover was to choose the pattern container from Perseverance and convey it to the MAV. The MAV would then have launched into Martian orbit with the samples. Then, an ESA-built Earth-return Orbiter to acquire the samples from MAV and convey it again to Earth by 2031.

However NASA is now planning to use a dual-lander structure.

“The development of a second lander necessitates a move to a 2028 launch date and 2033 sample return date and is consistent with the Mars Sample Return Independent Review Board’s finding that a dual-lander architecture may improve the probability of mission success,” stated NASA officers in a price range request proposal

Consequently, the launch of the Earth-return orbiter has additionally been delayed, from 2026 to 2027.

This isn’t the one mission that NASA has delayed. Its different bold plan — Artemis I— to return people to the Moon has additionally been pushed back a number of occasions. Artemis I used to be initially scheduled to launch in November final yr, however after a number of delays, NASA has stated it’s concentrating on summer season this yr for launching the primary of the a number of Artemis flights.

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