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Friday, April 7, 2006

Mars Sample Return in-Situ Resource Utilization - Mission Design Contest

Sample Return unit
Sample Return unit
Credit: Jason Archer
MarsDrive is hosting the Mars Sample Return in-Situ Resource Utilization - Mission Design Contest. From the overview:

Design and plan an unmanned mission to

1) place a scientific payload on the surface of Mars
2) collect geologic and astrobiological samples
3) use local Martian resources to produce a quantity of propellant (methane, LOX) to allow the collected samples to leave the surface and return to LEO.
The design must include all outbound stages from launch to TMI to Martian surface rendezvous and all return stages from surface liftoff to TEI to either LEO or Earth splash- down.

All materials and technologies must be in existence at the time of design.

Design can use components from multiple sources, countries and corporations.

The contest is being on feasibility, cost effectiveness, achievement of scientific goals and ability to land a manned presence on Mars by judged by Dr. Chris Mckay, Dr. Robert Zubrin, Louis Friedman, Grant Bonin. Abstracts are due by this summer. The offical page can be found here.

- posted by Jim @ 7:32 EST