The prestigious European Space Agency (ESA) is venturing for a round trip courier service to Mars. It is aiming at launching an orbiter to the red planet to collect various samples to see whether life ever existed there. The agency is inviting the space expert agencies to build a spacecraft that will carry the orbiter to its target destination. They have a huge plan on getting samples of at least 500 gm from Mars. They were targeting for the Jezero crater that was once believ!d to be a lake and has river delta. The rocks in this patch have stored a lot of information on Mars.
The agency has named it the Earth Return Orbiter. It'll transport NASA’s capture and Containment and Return device. The ESA has targeted a series of missions that includes three launches from Earth, one from Mars, two rovers or remote control systems, and a self-powered capture device in Mars orbit. This venture will see the duo ESA and NASA working together to discover and retrieve the Martian samples.
NASA’s Mars 2020 rover will be launched in the month of July 2020 and explore and extract samples from the red planet Mars. It'll then store them in tubes and plant them on the Martian surface to be retrieved later on. ESA wants to design a 'fetch' rover that will go across collecting the required samples. The rover could then help move them back to a football-sized canister and the same will be launched via a small rocket – NASA’s Mars Ascent Device.
The orbiter will then be successful to capture the canister in orbit and fetch it back to earth, like a courier service, which will take 13 months. The paramount challenges to this mission will be to ensure that the mission's main devices like the orbiter and the canister meet at the same times. Apart from this, propulsion and power generation is another big issue. The orbiter is reported and expected to start by 2026 from a spaceport based in French Guiana.