NASA Chooses Lockheed Martin to Build a New Rocket Capable of Carrying Martian Samples10th Mar 2022
NASA, the organisation that needs no introduction, announced that they had selected a company called Lockheed Martin to build the latest Martian ascent vehicle. The Lockheed Martin rocket will be able to bring back Martian samples down to Earth. Let’s find out more.
NASA: Going to Mars
It’s certainly an ambitious and exciting project to bring back samples from the red planet. Not only will the Lockheed Martin rocket need to land on Mars, but it will also need to successfully return to Earth with the samples. The project is currently nearing the end of its “conceptual phase”, and it’s hoped that the samples can be studied using state-of-the-art tools on Earth to aid in scientific discovery.
A Mission on the Way
The project has already started and is coming along well thanks to NASA and their Perseverance rover vehicle, which actually landed on Mars’s surface in February 2021. A robot with six wheels collected several samples and will eventually collect many more if everything goes to plan. NASA hopes to launch two additional missions to deliver other vehicles that can collect samples on Mars.
Sample collection and plans
Once samples arrive, laboratories all over the globe will study them. Hopefully, people can find out more about the signs of ancient Martian life, as well as clues about any possible evolutionary history. The current contract between Lockheed Martin and NASA has a potential value of $194 million. With the Lockheed Martin rocket, NASA will hopefully succeed with their new mission and complete all the work necessary to expand our understanding of the red planet.