Sample Collection for Investigation of Mars(SCIM) was a concept proposed in 2008 for a relatively low-cost, low-risk Mars sample return studied in the former Mars Scout Program. SCIM returns dust and air samples without landing or orbiting, by passing through the atmosphere as it collects samples. The design utilizes heritage from the successful Stardust and Genesis sample return missions. SCIM was studied by the Mars Scout Program, and it achieved finalist status in a mission selection before that program ended. The Mars Scout program includes Phoenix lander and MAVEN.
A pass through the atmosphere about 40 km (25 miles) above Mars would result in millions of particles being encountered. The particles would be captured in an aerogel similar to Stardust's. Analysis of the dust could confirm the origin of the suspected meteorites on Earth from Mars.