NASA Weighs Mission Options Aviation Week & Space Technology

NASA has put all of its Mars sample return (MSR) mission options back on the table and plans to conduct an extensive engineering analysis over the next 1.5 years to select the best combination of new technology and operational techniques. The space agency’s goal is to make those decisions in time for a validation mission during the 2007 launch opportunity. And if all works according to plan, the systems and operations used during the 2007 mission would be mirrored in a sample return mission expectedas early as 2011.