New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: If the National Aeronautics and Science Agency (NASA) is able to bring back the Martian dirt back to earth, it will become the most expensive substance known to humans and humankind. Over the course of three missions, NASA intends to bring 2 Pounds of Martian soil back to earth, in order to examine the traces of ancient life on Red Planet.

In terms of present-day cost, the three missions taken together cost USD 9 billion. To put this in context, in order to bring back two pounds of Martian soil, which is a little less than 1 kilogram, NASA would spend about 200,000 times the cost of two pounds of gold.

Why is Martian soil so expensive?

The three missions to bring less than a kilogram of Martian soil are together projected to cost USD 9 billion. One mission will examine and collect the Martian soil samples.

The second mission will gather the sample and pack them into a launcher to be launched into Mars’ orbit. Whereas the last mission in this succession will bring back the samples of Martian soil back to Earth.

The first mission in the succession has already been launched by NASA – Perseverance rover – in July 2020, which landed on Mars in February 2021.

According to a report in Business Insider, the Perseverance rover is searching for traces of life near a crater which is a site of an ancient Martian lake bed that apparently disappeared billions of years ago.

The report suggests that since the proximity to water offers the best chance to explore the traces of life, the crater’s history is being reconstructed. For that matter, the high-resolution cameras installed on the rover alone cost USD 20 million alone.

According to NASA, the sample collection will be completed by 2023. But it will be only after a decade from now that the soil samples are expected to reach back to the earth.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma