NASA’s iconic mission to bring back samples of Martian soil and rocks has gone awry. NASA announced that it has paused the Mars Sample Return Mission as they try to resolve their current budget problems. The space agency has been working on finding alternative Mars Sample Return options ..
It appears that the Mars Sample Return mission has been officially put on hold. According to Space Policy Online, NASA has announced a pause on the Mars Sample Return mission that called out the mission’s mounting costs and delays. Three NASA centers that were involved in the Mars Sample Return mission have been advised to “ramp back” their activities.
NASA originally requested a budget of $949. 3 million for the Mars Sample Return mission during its 2024 budget proposal. However, the subcommittee responsible for overseeing the agency’s budget allocated just $300 million and told them to submit year-by-year funding profiles for it. NASA could be forced to pause the Mars Sample Return Mission if it is not able to fulfill the requirements.
This news is especially disheartening considering China recently shared plans to complete its own Mars sample return mission called Tianwen-3, which would see Martian rocks brought back to Earth two years earlier than NASA’s current proposal. At the moment, it’s unclear exactly how long this pause might go on, though NASA has said it is working on alternative ways to bring the samples that Perseverance has already gathered back to Earth.
Tech. Entertainment. Science. Your inbox.
Sign up for the most interesting tech & entertainment news out there.
Email: SIGN UP
NASA also recently brought back some of the first asteroid samples gathered from the asteroid Bennu, and while we haven’t gotten a full breakdown of what was gathered from Bennu when OSIRIS-REx touched down on the asteroid, it does add some additional excitement to the prospect of studying soil from other planets and cosmic objects.
Unfortunately, NASA’s dream to bring Martian rock samples back to Earth could very well be on its last leg if the agency isn’t able to find a more affordable solution.
The post NASA pauses Mars Sample Return mission due to ongoing budget issues appeared first on BGR.