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‘Red Dragon’ could return rocks from Mars

LNM Radio Network

LNM Radio Network

An ambitious new mission aims to send a spacecraft to pick up samples collected by NASA’s Mars rover.
A sample return mission to Mars has often been thought of as the next best thing to landing humans there, especially given the potential for new discoveries should scientists be given the opportunity to study Martian soil and rocks up close instead of through the remote instruments of a rover.

Now SpaceX has risen to the challenge by finding a way to land on Mars, collect samples and return to the Earth again using a modified version of its already successful Dragon capsule.

Known as “Red Dragon”, the new lander would be designed to rendez-vous with NASA’s upcoming 2020 Mars rover, pick up samples that the rover had picked out, then launch from the surface and head back home with its precious cargo safely tucked away inside.