This artist's concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays the separation of an Earth entry vehicle, bearing a container of Martian rock samples, from the main spacecraft that would have carried it from Martian orbit nearly to Earth.
NASA and the European Space Agency are collaborating on proposals for a mission to gather samples of Martian rocks and bring them to Earth after 2020. This illustration depicts preliminary concepts, not finished design.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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