Statement on NASA's updated Mars Sample Return plans

For Immediate Release
April 17, 2024

Danielle Gunn
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

The Planetary Society, the world’s largest independent space advocacy organization, released the following statement in regard to NASA's recent announcement of a new path forward on the Mars Sample Return program:

This week, NASA announced it will be soliciting input from the broader commercial and civil space community to reduce the cost, complexity, and risk of the Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign. This ambitious program, with the goal of returning samples currently being collected by the Perseverance Rover, requires the utmost confidence from the scientific community, Congress, and the public to be successful. The Planetary Society welcomes NASA’s continued commitment to Mars Sample Return, and urges the agency to make a decisive commitment to a feasible, affordable, and scientifically productive plan by the end of the year.

Press Resources

Casey Dreier, Chief of Space Policy, is available for interviews. Please arrange with Danielle Gunn, chief communications officer, at [email protected]

Resource: Mars Sample Return overview

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit