According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, the explorer will move across the surface of the red planet in 2028 to collect samples of the packed rocks left by the NASA spacecraft that will be launched this year.
These four-wheeled European Space Agency spacecraft will eventually transport these samples to the Mars boarding vehicle, which will transfer them into orbit for collection by another European Space Agency spacecraft.
“It is exciting for our Airbus team to be key participants in the Mars Sample Return Program, which is a major international collaboration for a real world in space exploration,” said Ben Boise, Airbus Project Director.
He added, “The project represents a great opportunity to take advantage of the technology developed in the UK for Rosalind Franklin,” referring to ESA’s ExoMars spacecraft that is also designed on Airbus.
Also, the Mars sample return vehicle will be launched from Earth in 2026, arriving on the surface of the Red Planet and performing its mission in 2028.
Fetch will need to travel 656 feet (200 meters) across the Martian surface every day, covering more than 9 miles over a six-month period, as it collects up to 36 of the mineral specimens containing tubes left by the NASA 2020 Mars probe.
Airbus has already developed algorithms that will allow the detection of sample tubes as their craft roams across the surface of Mars.