Mission Type: Lander
The Mars 2018 Mission is a proposed NASA Mars rover mission that would launch in 2018, and carry with it the European Space Agency's (ESA's) ExoMars rover. The rovers would land together on the surface of Mars in 2019. They would use a "sky crane" landing system similar to that used for the Curiosity rover. The NASA rover is intended to be designed as a solar-powered rover.
The goal of the proposed NASA rover would be to collect and cache samples of interest for a potential return to Earth by a future mission. It will study rocks to look for scientifically exciting samples, including those that might have the potential to have preserved signs of past life on Mars. It would be designed to collect a few dozen such samples from several locations near its landing site. To collect the rock samples, the rover would use coring tools. Once the samples are collected and sealed in canisters, the rover would drive to a safe location and place the canisters for possible later pick-up by a future mission with a "fetch" rover.