Lockheed Martin wins NASA contract to return Mars sample to Earth

NASA’s Perseverance Rover captured an image of the Jezero Crater’s “Delta Scoop” on Mars on March 17, 2021.

Lockheed Martin’s space division has won a NASA contract to manufacture a rocket that returns the first Martian rock sample to Earth in the 2030s, the US space agency said Monday.

NASA said in a statement that a “small and lightweight rocket” would first take off from another planet and “regain rock, sediment, and atmospheric samples from the surface of the red planet.”

NASA’s Perseverance Rover has been collecting samples from different parts of Mars since landing on Earth’s neighbors a year ago.

The goal of the mission is to find traces of ancient life on the Red Planet. However, these samples need to be analyzed in a laboratory back to Earth, which is capable of more advanced testing than can be done on Mars.

Samples will be collected and launched onto Earth in complex operations where the Lockheed Martin rocket is an important factor.

According to NASA, this “Mars Rising Vehicle” deal has a potential value of $ 194 million.

“These parts are gathered to bring back the first sample from another planet. When they arrive on Earth, they can be studied with state-of-the-art tools that are too complex to transport. Sky“. Thomas Zurbuchen, Deputy Director of Science at NASA’s headquarters in Washington, said.

by Space agencyThe plan is for the mission to begin as early as 2026, sending a mini-rocket to Mars and carrying another rover responsible for collecting the samples left by patience.

Once the sample is placed in a rocket, it will take off and be placed in orbit around Mars. You will then be captured by another ship sent there to complete the final journey back to Earth.

This last ship, and the rover to retrieve the sample, have been developed under the direction of the European Space Agency.

NASA’s Mars rover begins collecting rocks in search of alien life

© 2022 AFP

Quote: Lockheed Martin wins a contract with NASA and brings a sample of Mars back to Earth (February 8, 2022).

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Lockheed Martin wins NASA contract to return Mars sample to Earth

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