Curiosity. NASA

How to Mitigate the Threat Space Junk on Mars Poses to Future Missions

3D modeling research shows that entry, descent, and landing systems from past missions may blow several miles across the Red Planet and impact other operations.

Published On 04/17/2017
9:53 AM EDT
A proposed Martian sample return mission is shown in an artist's conception. A new paper says that the entry, descent, and landing system should be located several kilometers away from the surface mission to avoid the possibility of interfering with operations. | NASA
NASA's lunar module was used for six human landing missions on the moon in the 1960s and 1970s, including 1969's Apollo 12 (pictured). IT used propulsion to get astronauts down to the surface. A propulsion-only landing would reduce the amount of debris for a Martian mission, but requires a lot of propellant or a more efficient engine than what currently exists. | NASA