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Could Curiosity return to Earth one day ?

Posted on Thursday, 25 October, 2012 | Comment icon 8 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

It is believed that Mars rovers like Curiosity may one day be retrieved and placed in a museum.

NASA's Mars programme director Doug McCuistion has said that he hopes astronauts will one day visit the rover and bring it home. "It is my hope that humans will be sent to Mars in the 2030s, or 2040s, and they will be able to walk up to Curiosity and bring it back, as I am sure there is a museum out there that would love to have it," he said. With its nuclear power source the Curiosity rover could continue to operate for decades.

McCuistion's comments raise other questions about the future of other spacecraft that have been sent out to explore the solar system. Could humans one day catch up with the two Voyager probes and bring them back to Earth to take pride and place in a museum exhibit ? What about the Apollo moon landers ? Could the site of Neil Armstrong's first footprints on the lunar surface become a museum exhibit in itself ?

"The director of Nasa's Mars exploration programme has spoken of hopes that one day the rover Curiosity might be brought back to Earth by astronauts."

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 Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew on 25 October, 2012, 11:55
Anything is possible, but we will have to get a lot more advanced and a lot better at space travel before we start thinking about bringing back "space antiques" for museums, as neat as that would be. We had also better make sure we don't brink back any hitchhiking microbes, should they exist. (I guess I could be sarcastic and ask, in which Chinese museum will the Mars Rover be displayed?)
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin on 25 October, 2012, 17:11
Yeah, the idea sounds interesting but pointless.
Comment icon #3 Posted by ashven on 25 October, 2012, 20:35
I think catching up with Voyager 1 & 2 and bringing them home would be a much better and worth while achievement
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 25 October, 2012, 21:01
Yeah, the idea sounds interesting but pointless. It would be far from pointless. If we are to build bases on Mars then learning how well materials survive long term exposure on the Martian surface would be invaluable. Returning Curiosity, or at least parts of it, would provide huge amounts of information.
Comment icon #5 Posted by goodgodno on 27 October, 2012, 0:32
I can imagine when in 30,40 or 50 years, when humans have set up base on the moon that the Apollo 13 landing site will become a museum similar to the Acropolis in Athens, with a glass bottom floor to observe Neils boot prints. That would be an extraordinary exhibit!
Comment icon #6 Posted by DONTEATUS on 27 October, 2012, 1:25
So shall it be dreamed ,so shall it be Done !
Comment icon #7 Posted by 27vet on 15 November, 2012, 18:59
And they can find the one(s) that crashed and bring them back for analysis.
Comment icon #8 Posted by shaddow134 on 16 November, 2012, 1:36
It would be good to see what effects the Martian atmosphere has on Man Made materials and you would see wether any Microbes had escaped Earth.

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