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Mars updates: Percy's sample collection and the possibility of astronaut missions

NASA's Perseverance rover takes a selflie looking down at one of its sample tubes.
NASA’s Perseverance took this selfie of itself looking down at one of 10 sample tubes deposited at the sample depot it created in an area nicknamed “Three Forks.” This image was taken by the WATSON camera on the rover’s robotic arm on Jan. 20, 2023, the 684th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover is busy collecting samples on Mars, packing them in tiny tubes with plans to send them back to Earth.

It’s also discovering the history of Mars by exploring the planet’s geology as it traverses an ancient lake looking for signs of life.

We’ll talk with University of Florida astrobiologist and mission scientists Amy Williams about the mission so far and what’s ahead for Percy on the red planet.

Then, from nuclear rockets to inflatable habitats -- technology for human missions to Mars is rapidly developing. How close are we to astronaut missions to the red planet? We’ll ask Explore Mars CEO Chris Carberry about the challenges and developments that are getting us ever closer to boots on the ground.

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Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.<br/><br/>Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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