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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

So far noone has launched a rocket from anywhere other than Earth, and now NASA has plans to be the first to launch from another planet – Mars.

 

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It’s the year 2022, and science still hasn’t caught up to most of the things that sci-fi told us would be commonplace in the 21st century. No silver lamé clothes. And no spaceships routinely launching from other planets. However, it looks like we might have that last one becoming reality pretty soon after NASA has announced plans to launch samples from the surface of the planet Mars using a rocket which would officially make it the first-ever launch taking place from another world.

 

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According to SlashGear the Perseverance rover, which is currently rolling its way on the surface of the red planet, will collect samples as part of its mission before sealing them in a tube. Rather than bringing them back home to Earth, these tubes will stay on Mars. At least until a future rover collects them and takes them to a launch site. From there, it will rocket the samples into orbit. Afterward, a spacecraft grabs it and brings it back to Earth.

Lockheed Martin is helping NASA with this particular mission. The space agency recently awarded it a contract to build the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) carrying samples into orbit. Creating this MAV is proving to be quite the challenge, however. For starters, it has the basic obstacles of creating a vehicle that survives that brutal terrain of Mars. This includes the freezing temperatures and the constant dust storms. Not to mention the low amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. And the MAV needs to be small enough to fit into the Sample Retrieval Lander carrying it to Mars

 

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NASA and Lockheed hope to make the Mars launch happen by 2026, a mere four years away. Hopefully, this is all a big step in perfecting technology that will have actual humans set foot on Mars even though the dates for a manned NASA Mars mission keep getting pushed further and further back. But it will be a day that will, hopefully, unite humanity in a way we haven’t seen in decades, since the long-ago days of the Apollo missions.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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