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A new sample return mission concept to Columbia Hills, Mars in the search for life beyond Earth

LifeSpringsMARS is a sample return mission concept designed by a multinational consortium of scientists and engineers from Australia, Japan, the United States, New Zealand, and the European Space Agency.

A mission driven by the desire to investigate one of humanity's greatest scientific questions - 

are we alone in the universe?

This mission is informed by scientific experts in early Earth and Mars geology and designed by engineers with world-leading capabilities for sample return. LifeSpringsMARS is humanity’s best chance to find signs of past life on Mars.

        Advancing Australia's Involvement In Space Exploration

LifeSpringsMARS will be an Australian first, advancing national capability and fostering closer ties with allied nations and regional partners.

A Mission Motivated by Science

The principal aim of the LifeSpringsMARS mission is motivated by science, with engineering designed to suit the science needs.

Fig 13_NASA visit on outcrop_PIA23551_or

      A Single Launch From Earth

LifeSpringsMARS employs a disruptive mission architecture relative to current mission designs in being low-cost, and light and nimble, able to complete sample return with just a single launch from Earth.

Sampling Locations Are

Already Identified 

By utilising existing geoscientific information from the Spirit rover mission, the LifeSpringsMARS mission minimises the risk brought on by the exploration of new areas that are reliant solely on remotely sensed data, and lowers costs by avoiding time-consuming exploration of new terrain.


    A Lightweight & Low-Cost Rover

Any investigation for signs of life must be conducted using the best labs on Earth. 

By utilising a lightweight, small, relatively inexpensive rover for sample collection, the LifeSpringsMARS mission reduces overall mission costs by forgoing the costly requirements of a  large, heavy, science-lab type rover.

    A Next-Gen Approach To

Space Exploration

These are only some of the innovative features unique to LifeSpringsMARS.

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