When will the first Mars samples be returned to Earth?

NASA has finished the system requirements review for its Mars Sample Return Program, which is nearing completion of the conceptual design phase. During this phase, the program team evaluated and refined the architecture to return the scientifically selected samples, which are currently in the collection process by NASA’s Perseverance rover in the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater.

This advanced mission architecture takes into consideration a recently updated analysis of Perseverance’s expected longevity. Perseverance will be the primary means of transporting samples to NASA’s Sample Retrieval Lander carrying the Mars Ascent Vehicle and ESA’s Sample Transfer Arm.

With planned launch dates for the Earth Return Orbiter and Sample Retrieval Lander in fall 2027 and summer 2028, respectively, the samples are expected to arrive on Earth in 2033.

The respective contributions to the campaign are contingent upon available funding from the U.S. and ESA participating states. More formalized agreements between the two agencies will be established in the next year.

From https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9233/nasa-will-inspire-world-when-it-returns-mars-samples-to-earth-in-2033/

This market resolves to the date that Mars samples are first returned to Earth, in the format of: year + day of year / 365 such that 1/1/2033 = 2033.0 and 7/1/2033 = 2033.5.

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