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Technology Development Can Lead to Smaller Mars Ascent Vehicles, for Multiple Affordable Sample Returns

Whitepaper #396 submitted to the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. Topics: Mars; other science themes: Sample Return; technology development

Published onMar 18, 2021
Technology Development Can Lead to Smaller Mars Ascent Vehicles, for Multiple Affordable Sample Returns

New technology development can lead to smaller Mars ascent vehicles (MAVs), so that multiple Mars Sample Return (MSR) missions will become affordable. As is true for Earth launch vehicles, pump-fed liquid propulsion offers the most promise, because lightweight rocket parts let smaller vehicles lift heavier payloads. A new kind of pump is needed.


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