NASA is commissioning 10 research on Mars Pattern Return—most are industrial

An artist's concept of a Mars Ascent Vehicle orbiting the red planet.

Enlarge / An artist’s idea of a Mars Ascent Automobile orbiting the crimson planet. (credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA introduced Friday that it’s going to award contracts to seven corporations, together with SpaceX and Blue Origin, to check how you can transport rock samples from Mars extra cheaply again to Earth.

The area company put out a name to trade in April to suggest concepts on how you can return the Mars rocks to Earth for lower than $11 billion and earlier than 2040, the associated fee and schedule for NASA’s present plan for Mars Pattern Return (MSR). A NASA spokesperson informed Ars the company obtained 48 responses to the solicitation and chosen seven corporations to conduct extra detailed research.

Every firm will obtain as much as $1.5 million for his or her 90-day research. 5 of the businesses chosen by NASA are among the many company’s roster of huge contractors, and their inclusion within the research contracts isn’t any shock. Two different winners are smaller companies.

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