NASA’s Commercial Service Studies Begin for Science Missions to Mars

Nine U.S. companies, including Albedo Space Corporation, Astrobotic Technology, Blue Origin, Firefly Aerospace, Impulse Space, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Redwire Space, SpaceX, and ULA, will be conducting concept studies as part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Each company will receive funding ranging from $200,000 to $300,000 in order to produce a report on various potential services related to Mars exploration. These services include payload delivery, communications relay, surface imaging, and payload hosting.

Eric Ianson, the director of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, expressed excitement about the growing commercial interest and capabilities in space exploration. He highlighted that this is a new era in space exploration and that public-private partnerships could play a significant role in supporting scientific endeavors on Mars in the coming decades. The concept studies will focus on areas such as developing “space tugs” to transport other spacecraft to Mars, creating spacecraft capable of hosting science instruments and cameras

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