NASA’s dangerous mission to bring a piece of Mars to Earth
For several years, scientists have been very interested in exploring all corners of space, including Mars. It is one of the planets that has been investigated the most due to its proximity to Earth, detecting several important details in the process. But now the POT will take a risk by doing a more local exploration, bringing a piece of the red planet to our territory.
Through its Instagram account, the space agency outlined some details regarding how this process will evolve, both to collect the sample and to bring it to Earth, revealing that it will be a process that will take several years.
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“Our Perseverance rover is currently rolling through Jezero Crater, collecting samples of the Red Planet as it goes. At the end of this decade, we plan to collect the samples of Perseverance”reviews NASA in a publication.
“These samples would lift off in our Mars Ascent Vehicle and make a return trip home in the European Space Agency’s Earth Return Orbiter; when they land on Earth (currently scheduled for 2033), they will be the first scientific samples that we have brought back from another planet”reported in the post.
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Why the mission can represent a risk?
While this may be a big step forward in uncovering the mysteries of Mars, according to NASA scientist Moogega Cooper, it can also be a very risky undertaking as bringing back uninvestigated debris from a planet can be dangerous.
“When you bring something back, you don’t want to bring something that could be harmful to humans. So we have to do the best job we can to make sure it’s done right. (…) We can only protect ourselves against life as we know it today. If we learn anything else, we can modify that approach.”said the scientist in an interview with Google Talk.
But despite the risk, there’s also a chance that the samples from Mars are just rocks and don’t contain unknown microbes that could be detrimental to life as we know it. Fortunately, NASA has more than ten years to come up with a plan for when the samples arrive.