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The report also includes a graphic outlining the agency's steps toward that return, a path to modern lunar glory that includes plans for construction of a permanent Moon base. The base, per the graphic, is set to begin construction in and is titled here as a Lunar Surface Asset Deployment. Berger also points to the three biggest hurdles the plan faces: funding, reliance on contractors, and the need for a revised Block 1B.
The total cost of the plan, possibly out of fear of it being used to deter support for a dedicated effort to a lunar return, has not been determined. We are going to the Moon — to stay.
We will build sustainable infrastructure to support missions to Mars and beyond. We are going. Moon pic. Japan has been a major player in the sample-return sphere as well. The nation launched its Hayabusa probe in to collect material from a space rock called Itokawa.
The Soviet Lunar Program
Things didn't go entirely as planned, but Hayabusa did succeed in getting some tiny Itokawa grains to Earth in The next focus for sample return appears to be Mars. Searching for definitive signs of alien life is such a tricky proposition that it should not be left to robots operating solo on a distant planet, agency officials have said.
One sample-return spacecraft has already launched toward Mars: In November , Russia's Fobos-Grunt probe lifted off on a mission to grab material from the Martian moon Phobos. However, Fobos-Grunt suffered an anomaly during launch and never made it out of Earth orbit.
The Journey Home
It should be noted that scientists have been able to study pieces of asteroids, Mars and other celestial bodies for decades, in the form of meteorites that have fallen to Earth. Have a news tip, correction or comment? Let us know at community space.