Precious samples from Mars have been collected. Now it’s up to Congress to get them back.

Clues about our planet’s ability to support life might come from Mars, writes Jonathan Lunine, the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences, in a CNN op-ed.

“Since 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover, designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), has been collecting samples to be returned to Earth in a technologically daring mission called Mars Sample Return (MSR) that is currently under development,” Lunine writes in the piece. “And yet, the political storms that have hit Washington, DC, threaten to leave those valuable samples stranded on Mars, by giving NASA far less than it needs to design and build the spacecraft that will return the samples. Unless Congress restores that funding, scientists may never see them.”

Read the story on the CNN website.

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