On the US government’s job site was posted a NASA job opening for a Mars Sample Return (MSR) program director. The job is based in Washington, DC, and it offers an annual salary of $188,066. Whoever meets the requests can send their applications until February 5th.
The Job Description
As NASA plans to bring samples from Mars back to Earth, it needs someone to oversee the ten years program. From the planning stages of the mission formulation, through design and development, all the way to the final launch and mission. The requirements for the job are experience executing spaceflight programs and a bachelor’s degree in a relevant scientific field.
The Mars Sample Return (MSR) Project
Programmed to be launched in July 2020, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, a rover is expected to land on Mars in February 2021. NASA has gathered a lot of data on Mars on the planet’s soil, climate, atmosphere. Now the time has come to find if there are signs of ancient life out there, and also to study weather science.
After four other exploratory missions on Mars, NASA has come to the point where it needs samples from the red planet. Neither of the four rovers sent to Mars up until now has brought any. If a success, the new mission will bring samples of Martian rock, soil, and atmosphere for analysis and testing on Earth.
It doesn’t have a name yet, but that will change in March. It is a three phases project: sample collection, retrieval, and flight home. It will conduct tests storing samples and placing them in strategic areas on the surface of Mars.
It will collect samples from across the planet, and store them in a container to be launched into the Martian orbit. The final phase is for an ESA spacecraft to capture the collector and bring it home. The purpose? The same old dream: finding ways to make life possible someplace other than Earth.