Mars Sample Return Science Management and opportunities for the science community

NASA and ESA intend to conduct a Mars Sample Return (MSR) Campaign to return martian samples safely to Earth for scientific research, based on the highest priority recommendations of the international science community. Returned samples will allow scientists to utilize advanced sample processing and scientific instrumentation unavailable on robotic spacecraft.

The journey of scientifically selected samples starts with the context development and acquisition of the samples by the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, continues with the transit through the flight elements of the MSR Program and retrieval on Earth for curation and analysis by the world’s scientific community. The samples collected by Mars 2020 to date already show scientific potential beyond the pre-launch expectations of the scientific community for the first sample return from Mars.

Based on an already signed NASA-ESA MSR Science and Sample Management Memorandum of Understanding, a Joint Science Management Plan (JSMP) has been developed to provide the framework and processes to ensure the scientific potential of the samples is preserved during return to Earth, on Earth, and for future generations, and that the science objectives of MSR can be met.

This talk will inform the science community about the key science management elements described in the JSMP.

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