Rocket Lab Wins Contract To Design NASA Spacecraft For Unmanned Mars Mission - Statement

Rocket Lab Wins Contract to Design NASA Spacecraft for Unmanned Mars Mission - Statement

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th June, 2021) NASA has ordered the design of two new unmanned spacecraft for a Mars orbital surveillance mission, the California-based company Rocket Lab announced on Tuesday.

"Rocket Lab, a global leader in dedicated launch and space systems, has been awarded a contract to design two Photon spacecraft for a scientific mission to Mars," the company said in a press release.

The Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (ESCAPADE) project is a twin-spacecraft science mission that will orbit two spacecraft around Mars to understand the structure, composition, variability and dynamics of the planet's hybrid magnetosphere, the release said.

ESCAPADE is being developed under NASA's Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration program in the Science Mission Directorate, the release also said.

The two spacecraft are planned for launch in 2024 to Mars ridesharing aboard a NASA-provided commercial launch vehicle, the release added.

The mission will use the Curie P propulsion system to investigate the Mars environment to explore how the solar wind strips atmosphere away from the planet to better understand how its climate has changed over time, according to the release.

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