Saturday, May 18, 2024

This Week In Space podcast: Episode 107 — Mars Sample Return Blues

NASAThis Week In Space podcast: Episode 107 — Mars Sample Return Blues


On Episode 107 of This Week In Space, Rod and Tariq talk with journalist Leonard David about NASA’s troubled Mars sample return mission.

The robotic program has its roots in the 1960s, when NASA started thinking about sending robots to fetch Mars soil even before Mariner 4’s first flyby of the planet. The Russians pondered it as well, as the Chinese and Japanese are today. The problem? It’s really hard, with multiple spacecraft, possibly on different launches, rendezvousing around the Red Planet to accomplish.

And then there are the concerns about the safety of returning possible pathogens to Earth. But the showstopper, as usual, is cost — and NASA’s not happy. We invited the original Space Ace reporter, Leonard David, to join the discussion.



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