NASA awarded a contract to transport the first samples of Martian rocks and soil to Earth.
The amount of the agreement with Northrop Grumman is $ 84.5 million, but taking into account the complexity of the mission, the possibility of revising the budget is not excluded in the future. According to the contract, the contractor must arrange for the delivery of soil samples collected by the Perseverance rover for direct study by researchers on Earth..
Mars sample return
The Mars Sample Return mission involves sending two spacecraft to the red planet. The first will meet with the rover, take the sample container from it and launch them into Mars orbit. The second ship will fly up to them already in open space, take on board the valuable cargo and go to Earth.
The preliminary plan calls for a launch in 2026, a landing on Mars in 2028, and a return with samples by 2031..
The US space agency also funded a number of fantastic projects last year. on space exploration, which are more reminiscent of ideas from science fiction films.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: NASA