Airbus by 2026 will present an “interplanetary spacecraft” that will deliver research cargo from Mars orbit to Earth. The project cost is several billion dollars.
The new device, according to NASA’s plans, will have to transport materials from Mars to Earth. The soil itself will be drilled by the all-terrain vehicle of the American space agency Perseverance, and a special rocket will launch the materials into the planet’s orbit. An Airbus satellite will collect the packaged samples and send them to Earth. The joint US-European project will cost billions of dollars and will take just over ten years to design.
The device, when launched in 2026, will weigh 6.5 tons and use a mixture of chemical and electric motors. Their powers should be enough to get to Mars and then return to Earth with a load of stones. The ion engine will require more power, so the researchers will equip the devices with 39-meter wings.
“It’s not just harder than any mission to Mars, it’s twice as difficult. The Airbus device will indeed become the “first interplanetary cargo ship” because it is the device that will perform this function. It is designed to carry cargo between Mars and Earth”.
David Parker, Director of Human and Robot Research, European Space Agency
NASA previously launched the Perseverance rover, designed to search for astrobiological evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars. This is part of NASA’s planetary exploration program.
Researchers from NASA have taught the Perseverance rover to explore Mars with the most detailed map of the planet. If all goes according to plan, the car-sized rover will land in Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021. Every day, the rover will cover an average of 200 m in one Martian day. He will conduct research related to the search for traces of the habitation of microorganisms on the planet. In addition, the researchers want to better understand the geological processes on Mars and collect rock samples.