NASA Looking to Hire Candidate to Collect Martian Samples

Credit: NASA/JPL

Think you’re up for space travel and leading a mission?

NASA is looking to bring back some Martian samples, but they need someone to lead the mission. The Mars Sample Return (MSR) program, set to take place over the next decade, will focus on collecting samples of Martian rock, soil, and atmosphere in order to analyze and test it on Earth.

The program, which is being carried out in collaboration with the European Space Agency, has a job opening for an MSP program director. The job offers an annual salary of up to $188,066, and job requirements include overseeing the entire program from early stages to design and development to final launch and mission.

Applicants should have experience executing spaceflight programs and a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. The job is based in Washington, D.C. Applications close Feb. 5.

NASA has already sent four rovers to Mars equipped with instruments to test the planet’s soil, atmosphere, etc. Despite the many detailed photographs, the rovers have not yet been able to bring back actual samples.

The space program already has the collection, retrieval and flight home lined up for the next coming years. The Mars 2020 mission will launch in July from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a rover expected to land on Mars in February 2021. The rover will search for signs of ancient life, study weather and conduct other tests. While on the planet, the rover will collect and store samples, placing them in “strategic areas” on the Martian surface, according to the ESA website. An ESA spacecraft will then travel to Mars to collect the sample containers and bring them back to Earth.

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