US, Europe Remodelling Plans To Bring Rock Samples From Mars For Laboratory Study

The US and Europe are remodelling their plans to bring rock samples back from Mars, for study in Earth laboratories.

They hope to simplify the process, cut risk and cost using helicopters instead of a British-built “fetch rover”.

Airbus UK engineers, who have been developing the concept for years, have been expressing disappointment, at the Farnborough International Airshow 2022.

Also at the Hampshire show, Italian aerospace giant Leonardo signed a €55m (£46m) deal for key mission hardware.

Its trade stand exhibited an actual-size model of a robotic arm – complete with “shoulder”, “elbow” and “wrist” – it will now deliver to US space agency Nasa by November 2025.

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