ASU helping NASA bring Martian rocks back to Earth

NASA is picking up Martian rocks to study back here on Earth.

But since you can't exactly ask Uber for a ride, NASA called on Arizona State University.

"The goal is to be able to see if we can find evidence of past ancient life on Mars," said Meenakshi Wadhwa, principal scientist for the Mars Sample Return Program at ASU.

And it's Wadhwa's job to get the rocks from there to here.

She's the chief scientist for the retrieval effort, which includes sending two more mini helicopters to Mars to help collect samples, and a rocket ready to blast off from the red planet that'll be caught in Mars' orbit by another spacecraft.

"The launch samples are going to rendezvous in orbit with an Earth return orbiter and then there's going to be an Earth return orbiter that's gonna make its way back to Earth," Wadhwa said.

NASA hopes to collect some 30 Martian rocks and bring them back to Earth by 2033 – after getting a little lift from ASU.

"Something that I think all this on Earth will be proud to be able to bring the samples back and learn all that we can learn about our sister planet, I guess," laughed Wadhwa.

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