An international task force is taking the first steps toward a joint Mars sample return mission in the coming decade, following a meeting in Washington late last year to lay the groundwork for cooperation. The task force, dubbed the International Mars Architecture for Return of Samples (IMARS) group, is a committee of the International Mars Exploration Working Group, which was formed in 1993. It includes NASA and the European Space Agency, which have led the sample return effort up to now; ...

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