Lockheed Martin will build a rocket and bring soil from Mars

(ORDO NEWS) — The novelty will be the final part of the ongoing project to study the Red Planet.Soil samples from Mars will arrive on Earth in the 2030s using a rocket from Lockheed Martin

The Perseverance rover with the Ingenuity helicopter, which landed on the Red Planet in early 2021 and have continued their scientific program since then, should receive “support” in the coming years from the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) rocket, which will be designed and built by the American aerospace concern Lockheed Martin.

The new rocket is supposed to carry out the mission of delivering soil samples collected on Mars to Earth, according to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

As follows from the project description, samples of stones, sedimentary rocks and particles of the Martian atmosphere will first be loaded from the Perseverance rover into the Sample Retrieval Lander, which will land on Mars no earlier than 2026.

Then the MAV rocket will launch from the surface of the Red Planet to orbit Mars – there the device will be waiting for the European Space Agency (ESA) Earth Return Orbiter, which will catch the samples released by the MAV and deliver them to Earth around the mid-2030s .

The work under the contract will last six years. For $194 million, Lockheed Martin will design, develop, test and evaluate an integrated MAV system, as well as design and develop ground support equipment for the missile.

The concern emphasized that the project is a serious technical challenge due to the need to design a compact rocket to work in difficult conditions with the possibility of docking with several spacecraft.

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