The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Airbus to return samples from Mars on a mission to the Red Planet.
Airbus has been awarded the contract to design and build the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO), which runs the Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign. The project is being carried out jointly by ISA and NASA, the US ESA partner. The company said in a press release on Wednesday.
Sample returns begin at the end of the decade and last for a period of five years.
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Along with Eroy, Airbus will build another spacecraft, the Sample Fitch Rover (SFR).
Before returning from the Red Planet, the Martian samples are stored in sample tubes, which are then collected by SFR and taken back to their new home on Earth.
They were selected by the ESA for the study phase of a landing gear module or European Large Logistics Lander or EL3 capable of carrying 1.7 tons of cargo to the moon.
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“Bringing samples back to Earth from Mars will be an extraordinary achievement, taking Interplanetary Science to a whole new level. Airbus is excited to take on this new challenge as part of this joint international mission,” said Airbus chief Jean-Marc Nasser.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states with the sole purpose of space exploration. Headquartered in Paris.
Airbus’ contract is worth $ 577.1 million.