The future of Mars exploration, from sample return to human missions

 NASA and ESA have agreed to cooperate on the effort, proposing a pair of missions launching as soon as 2026

 those plans might be a little too ambitious, in that it may take more time, and more money, than originally envisioned.

After the successful launch of Mars 2020, NASA announced it would conduct an independent review of its Mars Sample Return program.

The panel said NASA should investigate other changes to the mission design

NASA accepted many of the recommendations from the independent panel

The report noted there are other risks should the mission be delayed beyond 2028

For now, work continues on Mars Sample Return activities towards a 2026 launch on both sides of the Atlantic

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