NASA aims for human rendezvous at Mars in 2033

May 24, 2012

Gale Crater of Mars (Credit: NASA)

It would be the most precious cargo since the Apollo astronauts returned Moon rocks to Earth.

In 2033, humans would arrive in Mars orbit to pick up and return to Earth a small collection of Mars rocks that would have been previously collected and put into orbit.

An internal NASA study group, tasked with replanning the agency’s beleaguered Mars program, revealed on Tuesday that it was using this working scenario and date as a goal, Nature News Blog reports.