Mars Orbiter Mission: Five Aerospace Companies Chosen for Concept Study; NASA's One Step Closer to MarsBy Anita Valencia, UniversityHerald Reporter
There will be five aerospace companies, chosen by NASA, studying potential Mars orbiter mission in four months.
Many commercial aerospace companies want to be recognized by NASA and now the space agency officially announced the five companies to develop concepts for the future Mars orbiter mission, Reuters reported. After decades of studies, NASA's plan to send humans to Mars seems to be a step closer to its goal.
NASA had commissioned these five aerospace companies:
- The Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, California
- Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia
- Space Systems / Loral in Palo Alto, California.
- Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver
- Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California
Mars orbiter mission: the concept study
Mars orbiter mission study will provide advanced communication capabilities and Mars images in high resolution. For the record, NASA has MAVEN orbiter on standby mode that functions as a relay in an emergency situation. However, the agency felt the need of new spacecraft that will be able to use solar electric propulsion and providing scientific information from advanced imaging and communication technology, Geek Wire reported. This study will be benefit for the manned mission in 2030.
The new satellites will be fuel-efficient and able to fly closer to surface. As a part of NASA's Journey to Mars, the space agency will send manned mission in 2030. Mars orbiter mission includes the 2020's rover set to land on Mars in 2021. It will search for any sign of life in the past, collect rocks and samples before returning to Earth.
NASA Headquarters spokesperson, William Steinmeier said, "NASA's strategy connects near-term activities and capability development to the journey to Mars and a future with a sustainable human presence in deep space."
Previously, NASA has also announced plan to land InSight to the Red Planet in 2018 to study the deep interior.