"Red Dragon" Mars Sample-Return Mission Architecture

NASA could launch a Mars sample-return mission in 2022 without breaking the bank, according to an internal study conducted at NASA Ames Research Center. The mission would use a slightly modified version of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, called Red Dragon.

Red Dragon could land two tons (twice the weight of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity) on the Martian surface. The payload would include a new Mars Ascent Vehicle, Earth Return Vehicle, and equipment to drill two meters into the Martian surface.

The NASA Ames study team presented a paper at the IEEE Aerospace Conference, which took place this week in Montana. Leonard David has details on Space.com.

Written by Astro1 on March 8th, 2014 , Planetary science, SpaceX

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COMMENTS
    jim brown commented

    Yes great, but even better would be to do it with Mars surface fuel production to lift it to orbit, and bring it back to Earth.

    Reply
    March 12, 2014 at 9:38 pm