Challenge to bring pieces of Mars to Earth
British engineers have begun testing technologies that will be needed to bring samples of Martian rock to Earth.
The Airbus team is training a prototype rover to recognise and pick up small cylinders off the ground. It's a rehearsal for a key part of a multi-billion-dollar project now being put together by the US and European space agencies - Nasa and Esa.
Returning rock and dust materials to Earth laboratories will be the best way to confirm if life exists on Mars.
The small tubes being manipulated by the Airbus prototype are intended to represent Martian samples that have been left on the surface by a previous robot. Engineering manager Adam Camilletti spoke with our science correspondent Jonathan Amos.
05 Dec 2019