google-site-verification: google9ea4a53e53bc45e5.html NASA Tests Rocket That Will Launch From The Surface Of An Alien Planet - Touch Universe

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NASA Tests Rocket That Will Launch From The Surface Of An Alien Planet

NASA has conducted tests on the rockets that will become the first to launch from the surface of an alien planet.

The rockets will be used as part of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), which will help return samples from the Red Planet to Earth. Mars Sample Return is set to launch in June 2028, beginning a two-year journey to the planet, followed by another year collecting the samples brought to it by the Perseverance rover

A Sample Transfer Arm will place the samples onto a container in the nose of a rocket, which will launch from Mars and meet with the Earth Returner Orbiter (the title of which sort of gives away its role) to hand over the samples. The samples will return to Earth, all going to plan, sometime in the early 2030s. 

NASA recently conducted tests on the solid rocket motors which will become the first to launch from another planet.

The rockets use a state-of-the-art trapped ball nozzle developed by NASA, as usual solid motor rocket nozzles cannot handle the extremely cold environments experienced on Mars. Also taking the nozzle for a spin in a cold vacuum environment, the team deemed the tests a success.

“This test demonstrates our nation has the capacity to develop a launch vehicle that can successfully be lightweight enough to get to Mars and robust enough to put a set of samples into orbit to bring back to Earth,” said MAV Propulsion Manager Benjamin Davis at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. 

“The hardware is telling us that our technology is ready to proceed with development.”

Further tests will determine if the nozzle can survive the vibrations of liftoff, the vacuum of space, and the cold temperatures it will endure as it returns samples of the Red Planet back to Earth.

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