MAY 01, 2018 07:34 PM PDT
The Next Step in Martian Exploration: Sample Return
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Mars has quickly become a place of interest in our solar system. Humankind has already sent a bevy of landers, orbiters, and rovers exploring the planet's surface, but it may finally be time to take the next significant step in planetary research: sample return.

Indeed, planetary scientists on Earth are foaming at the mouth for genuine Martian surface samples, and a future NASA mission could realize this plan and push Mars-centric research forward.

NASA's Mars 2020 rover will include a state-of-the-art sample collection system, but it will leave any samples it collects on the Martian surface until we're ready to grab them. Then again, when will that be? A good question.

NASA has a few ideas encompassing how we might be able to recover these samples, but most are still imaginative at this point. This video goes over some of the multi-stage systems that have been conceptualized.

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