Long Beach, California 2021-06-15 15:15:24 –
Rocket Lab, a long beach-based rocket manufacturing and launch company, announced today that it has won a contract to design a two-photon spacecraft for a scientific mission to Mars.
The Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorer (ESCAPADE) mission, led by Rob Lilith of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science at the University of California, Berkeley, orbits two spacecraft around Mars to structure and compose the planet’s hybrid magnetosphere. Gather information related to variability and dynamics. For the announcement of Rocket Lab.
“The mission uses a unique dual perspective on the Martian environment to investigate how the solar wind removes the atmosphere from Mars and better understand how its climate has changed over time. I will do it, “said the announcement.
This mission is being developed under NASA’s Small Innovative Mission (SIMPLEx) program for planetary exploration. According to the announcement, the twin spacecraft will be ride-sharing on NASA’s commercial rocket and will be launched in 2024.
Two photon crafts, named blue and gold, move for 11 months before being inserted into an elliptical orbit around Mars. The aircraft will carry out a one-year mission using subsystems such as starter trackers for deep space navigation and ranging transceivers, the company said.
The mission is one of three selected in 2019 as part of NASA’s SIMPLEx program. According to Rocket Lab, NASA will conduct a preliminary design review this month, with a confirmatory review scheduled for July to determine whether the mission will proceed with implementation and flight.
“This is a very promising mission to deliver big science in a small package,” said Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, in a statement. “Planetary science missions traditionally cost hundreds of millions of dollars and took up to 10 years to come to fruition. Our photon spacecraft for ESCAPADE is a more cost-effective approach to planetary exploration. Will demonstrate and improve access to our solar system in the scientific community. “