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Five Aerospace Companies Selected to Collaborate With NASA on Mars Orbiter

NASA RedPlanet

NASA’s mission to send humans to Mars has been years in the making and includes exploration programs, rover missions, orbiters, and countless hours of preparation and research. To continue its exploration of the red planet, NASA recently selected five U.S aerospace companies to undertake concept studies for a potential future Mars orbiter mission.

A future mission would allow NASA to continue its telecommunications and global high-resolution imaging capabilities as it progresses with its “Journey to Mars.”

The five companies contracted by NASA are: The Boeing Company (Huntington Beach, California); Lockheed Martin Space Systems (Denver, Colorado); Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (Redondo Beach, California); Orbital ATK (Dulles, Virginia); and Space Systems/Loral (Palo Alto, California). Each of these companies will conduct four-month studies to further develop communications and global high-resolution imaging capabilities in support of the agency’s Journey to Mars.

In a statement made about the addition of new collaborative research, acting associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Geoffrey Yoder stated, “We’re excited to continue planning for the next decade of Mars exploration.”

The studies conducted by the contracted companies will also work to determine if a new Mars orbiter could support additional scientific instruments, functionalities and optical communications. The concept research will also be applied to recent report objectives put out by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group which were recommended for a future Mars orbiter.

All of these studies will be managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory under the agency’s Mars Exploration Program.  To learn more about NASA’s Journey to Mars and its goal to send humans to the red planet by the 2030s, visit www.nasa.gov/journeytomars

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