The European Space Agency has selected Airbus to bring a model from Mars to Red.
Airbus has been contracted to design and build the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO), which carries out the Mars Model Revenue (MSR) campaign. The initiative is being pursued between ESA and NASA, rivals of US ESAs. The company made the announcement in a press release on Wednesday.
The return of the models will begin at the end of the decade and last for a period of five years.
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Along with the Euro, Airbus will build another spacecraft, the Model Pitch Rover (SFR).
Before returning from the Red Planet, the Martian samples will be stored in sample tubes and then transported by SFR to their new home on Earth.
They have been selected by the ESA for a landing gear module capable of carrying 1.7 tonnes of cargo to the moon or the European Large Logistics Lander or EL3’s research stage.
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“Bringing samples back from Mars to Earth is an extraordinary achievement that will take planetary science to a new level, and Airbus is excited about this new challenge as part of this joint international mission,” said Airbus chairman Jean-Marc Nasser.
The European Space Agency is a government body of 22 member states with the sole purpose of space exploration. ESA is headquartered in Paris.
Airbus’ contract is worth $ 577.1 million.