Source: NASA

Authors: Naomi Hartono, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Published Date: Wed, 01 May 2024 16:41:35 +0000

Summary: NASA has selected nine U.S. companies to conduct 12 early-stage studies for commercial services to support lower-cost, higher-frequency missions to Mars. Each company will receive between $200,000 and $300,000 to explore potential services like payload delivery, communications relay, surface imaging, and payload hosting. The selected concepts aim to adapt existing projects focused on the Moon and Earth for Mars-based applications, supporting NASA’s goal of frequent, cost-effective missions over the next 20 years. The studies will include “space tugs,” spacecraft hosting science instruments, and telecommunications relays. The initiative is part of a broader strategy to foster public-private partnerships for Mars exploration. Results of the 12-week studies will be released later this year, potentially leading to future proposals. Concurrently, NASA is also seeking industry proposals for its Mars Sample Return campaign.

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