The potential science and engineering value of samples delivered to Earth by Mars sample returnOPEN ACCESS 

International MSR Objectives and Samples Team (iMOST) D. W. Beaty M. M. Grady H. Y. McSween E. Sefton‐Nash B. L. Carrier F. Altieri Y. Amelin E. Ammannito M. Anand L. G. Benning J. L. Bishop L. E. Borg D. Boucher J. R. Brucato H. Busemann K. A. Campbell A. D. Czaja V. Debaille D. J. Des Marais M. Dixon B. L. Ehlmann J. D. Farmer D. C. Fernandez‐Remolar J. Filiberto J. Fogarty D. P. Glavin Y. S. Goreva L. J. Hallis A. D. Harrington E. M. Hausrath C. D. K. Herd B. Horgan M. Humanyun T. Kleine J. Kleinhenz R. Mackelprang N. Mangold L. E. Mayhew J. T. McCoy F. M. McCubbin S. M. McLennan D. E. Moser F. Moynier J. F. Mustard P. B. Niles G. G. Ori F. Raulin P. Rettberg M. A. Rucker N. Schmitz S. P. Schwenzer M. A. Sephton R. Shaheen Z. D. Sharp D. L. Schuster S. Siljestrom C. L. Smith J. A. Spry A. Steele T. D. Swindle I. L. ten Kate N. J. Tosca T. Usui M. J. Van Kranendonk M. Wadhwa B. P. Weiss S. C. Werner F. Westall R. M. Wheeler J. Zipfel M. P. Zorzano

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Pages: 667-671
First Published: 5 March 2019


“Return of samples from the surface of Mars has been a goal of the international Mars science community for many years. Strategies for the collection of such samples have ranged from “grab and go” acquisition from the surface, to dust collection in the atmosphere, to scientific selection by geologically capable rovers. As comprehension of the complexity and potential habitability of Mars has increased, so has the realization that a randomly collected sample, while potentially interesting, would not be sufficient to answer the really big questions that for years have motivated Mars surface sample return. The deployment of NASA’s Mars 2020 (M‐2020) sample‐collecting rover has brought the issues associated with the completion of Mars sample return (MSR) into sharp focus. M‐2020 will collect and cache geological samples for possible eventual return to Earth. The transportation to Earth would require a sample‐retrieval mission, which could also collect atmospheric samples, and an Earth‐return mission. Involvement of the international community in these missions would be very beneficial in terms of sharing cost, risk, and benefit.”