If everything goes according to plan samples of Pristine will be coming to Earth in a few years from now. ESA and NASA are functioning in collaboration on the highly awaited red planet Sample return mission. It will be a study of Mars and its hosting potential. Muirhead Brian of NASA’s propulsion laboratory, during their presentation, said that “We need to bring material from Mars back to our laboratories.” He then added that “scientists will be able to examine samples precisely than any rover.” It will help us to know the history of the red planet from a biological aspect. Muirhead stressed that the ESA-NASA plan is not yet approved.
The campaign commences from next July along with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover. Mars 2020 will hunt for signs of primeval life, collection, and catching of samples. In 2026 next great step will be with NASA’s Sample Retriever Lander mission. SRL will include sample fetch rover and a rocket named MAV Mars Ascent Vehicle. In 2020 SFR will hit the Mars surface. SFR will not carry science instruments. Its only job will be to get the samples dropped by NASA’s Mars 2020 to the Sample retriever lander. SRL surface mission will take approximately eight months out of which five months will be dedicated to gathering. Meanwhile, MAV has to survive low temperature and dust; then it has to launch and deliver into Mars orbit.
Like SRL mission, in 2026 Earth Return Orbiter is scheduled to launch. ESA’s Orson Sutherland said that “the Mission is getting into reality, and we are giving European industry chance to join and challenge.” 2031 is approximate landing date. It launches once in every 26 months. Therefore, if Earth return orbiter and Sample Retriever Lander are not ready by 2026, next opportunity will be in 2028 and samples will reach to earth by 2033. Muirhead said that “campaign is just an idea at the moment and it is not officially on NASA’s books yet. So they don’t know how much cost this would incur.” Later Muirhead added, “campaign and design studies are proceeding extremely well.”