Unsigned Heaven     Travel World     The Cheers News     Forum    

Mission to Mars could bring back 'rocks and life' between 2018 and 2033    2008-07-15 11:28:43    

London, July 15 : An international team of scientists is planning a 4 billion pounds mission to bring back rocks - and possibly even life - from Mars, which might take place between 2018 and 2033.
An international team of scientists is planning a 4 billion pounds mission to bring back rocks - and possibly even life - from Mars, which might take place between 2018 and 2033.

According to a report in the Telegraph, the scientists have spent the last eight months looking at ways of sending a craft to the red planet to collect samples for analysis.

It is seen as a vital step in the preparations for sending astronauts to Mars, which is unlikely to be possible before 2050.

"If you can't bring a rock back you are not going to be able to bring people back," said Professor Monica Grady, at the Open University, who co-chaired the panel of 31 experts that wrote the mission proposal.

"There's a real feeling that bringing samples back from Mars is absolutely essential if we are going to continue our Martian exploration programme," he added.

There have been seven successful landings on Mars since the US spacecraft Mariner 4 flew past it for the first time in 1965, but no lander has ever taken off from the surface again or brought anything back to Earth.

The exploratory mission would take place between 2018 and 2033, but one of the barriers is cost.

Expertise and funding from Nasa and the European Space Agency (ESA) would be essential, along with help from other space agencies.

Another potential problem is ensuring that any microbes carried by the rocks do not harm life on Earth.

Any life found on Mars must be hardy to cope with the extremes of temperature and UV radiation, which means that if the spacecraft with the samples disintegrated on re-entry there is a danger the Martian lifeforms would survive and pose a contamination threat.

According to Professor Colin Pillinger, who led Britain's unsuccessful Beagle II mission to Mars in 2003, "There's a big caveat when you start playing with Mars, and that's planetary protection. You have to be very careful not to bring anything back that might be harmful to Earth."

"Your mission has to be guaranteed, and I really mean guaranteed, to get into the Earth's atmosphere without damaging itself," he added.

NASA and ESA will decide in November whether to fund the mission's next planning stage. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI

Click for more News about Science

TAGS: Science   

The Cheers NEWS is looking for new local reporters

Why the veggie burger tastes just as good as a non-veg one

While a scrumptious non-veggie burger may be treat for your taste buds, the taste for meat could be based in part on expectation rather than reality, says a new study led by an Indian researcher, which shows that personal values deceive taste buds.

Scientists to drill into a crack in the edge of the world

An international consortium of scientists is preparing to drill into a crack in the edge of the world - the South Island's Alpine Fault in New Zealand.

US warrant surrendering Dr. Death to Oz Police imminent
18.Jul 2008
Ending a three-year quest to bring controversial

Icebergs scouring ocean seabed could have severe effects on marine creatures
18.Jul 2008
New data has suggested that due to an increase in

Humming fish gives clues to the origins of vocalization
18.Jul 2008
A male midshipman - a close relative of the

"Assisted migration of species" necessary for saving wildlife from global warming

Antarctica and North America may once have been connected

Indian-origin researchers find way to create heat pumps, energy converters from 'nanosculpture'

NASA's Deep Impact films Earth as an alien world

Men and women really do have different brains

The Cheers magazine: About us | Contact us | The Cheers Story | Advertising
Work with The Cheers: Writers guide | Write for us | Writer application | Reporter application 
The Cheers:Terms and conditions | Privacy policy | Sponsoring | Sitemap
Sister sites: Tech Blog |  Best Auto Zine | Travel destinations by weather | Okai - critical commentary | Stock trading game | Wifi hotspots and wireless laptops | The Daily Bonk | Best Poker Zine | Business thoughts | Political commentary | Most expensive things | World News in ShortTop 10 listsPolitically incorrect blog
Listen: Online radio station
Travel World: World travel locations
Travel: Travel blogs | Travel destinations | Hotel reviews | Beer around the world
Watch: Watch series online
Trade: The Stock game | Trading competitions | Trading education
Entertainment Blogs
Entertainment blog
Copyright © 2004-2012 The Cheers magazine / Mission to Mars could bring back \'rocks and life\' between 2018 and 2033

web stats