Piloted flyby mission profile

April 1966: NASA Office of Manned Space Flight Planetary Joint Action Group begins PF study
  1. During flight to Mars, crew acts as caretakers for robot probes based on Voyager technology
  2. During flyby, crew studies Mars using remote sensing, releases probes, including Mars Surface Sample Return (MSSR) landers
  3. MSSR probes land, scoop samples, lift off in pursuit of PF spacecraft
  4. Crew retrieves samples; studies samples during fall back to Earth
  5. Crew separates in Apollo- based capsule,reenters Earth's atmosphere
  6. Tickertape parade