In DepthPlanetary Science

NASA planners gear up for martian sample return

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Science  23 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6186, pp. 787-788
DOI: 10.1126/science.344.6186.787

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Planetary scientists have begun to plan the first stage of a Mars sample return mission: a rover to be launched in 2020. Scientists want the rover to drill at least 31 rock samples weighing about 15 grams apiece during its 2-year mission and pack them in a cache that a later mission will retrieve. But the rover will have to work faster than the current rover, Curiosity, which has drilled just three samples in its 20 months on Mars.