Red Planet Sampling
SCIM will return the first samples of Martian materials to Earth without the complexity and risk of landing, and at a fraction of the cost. As the first round trip mission to Mars, SCIM will break new ground, and set the stage for future visits to Mars by humans.
Using a sleek, elongated aeroshell, SCIM will race through the Martian atmosphere collecting its precious samples, but won’t be captured into orbit. Instead, after emerging from the atmospheric pass SCIM will rapidly and directly return to Earth with its prized cargo.
SCIM is a mature mission concept and ready to go. We are currently fundraising to begin implementation. The first phase entails detailed design and optimization work, with a special focus on the dust collector and sample return capsule. We are also building plans for education programs to engage people around the world in the SCIM journey, including a student-built experiment and hosting secondary payloads such as cubesats. Join the SCIM team today and help us blaze the trail to Mars (and back!).
Starting the journey: SCIM detailed design and optimization work
In the early phase of SCIM development, work will focus on optimizing the science plan using the latest data from Mars, incorporating the most advanced flight avionics, creating a detailed build plan and schedule to get us to the launch pad, inking initial agreements with our SCIM partners including aerospace companies, our launch vehicle provider, universities and NASA, and updating mission costs using our revised management approach.
Dust collector and sample return capsule
Early hardware builds will help SCIM make key progress towards the launch pad. We propose early prototypes and ultimately early flight builds of both the aerogel-based dust collector and the sample return capsule that will bring the Mars dust safely back to Earth. Both of these key elements of SCIM provide naming opportunities for donors.
Student-built experiment and secondary payloads
Education and public engagement are important to the SCIM journey. Enabling meaningful participation through hands-on activities – such as creating SCIM’s dust counter and possibly cubesats to be released at Mars – will have a positive impact on preparing future generations for careers in technological fields. Near-term work involves detailed accommodation studies to maximize the number of student experiments SCIM can carry. It will also support initial competitions and designs of SCIM’s student experiments.
We are dedicated to advancing the frontiers of space science and exploration.
Together we will create new levels of public access and engagement in scientific research from space. Support us as we all explore the universe, galaxies, and new solar systems - discoveries await!