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NASA Lines Up Nine Companies to Explore Commercial Services Concepts for Mars Exploration

Mars commercial services

NASA Lines Up Nine Companies to Explore Commercial Services Concepts for Mars Exploration

NASA has selected nine companies for initial studies on commercial services that could support less costly and more frequent missions to Mars. The selected firms’ work is divided into four concept categories for a total of 12 studies. Some companies, such as Lockheed Martin and Blue Origin, will work on more than one study category.

Chosen from responses to NASA’s Mars Exploration Program’s request for proposals issued on Jan. 29, the awardees will each receive between $200,000 and $300,000 for their detailed report on potential service deliveries, NASA said Wednesday.

Studies on large and small payload deliveries plus hosting services are two of the study concept categories, with United Launch Services, Blue Origin and Astrobotic Technology working on the large payloads. Studies on small payloads and hosting services will be conducted by Lockheed Martin, Impulse Space and Firefly Aerospace.

Another study concept, Mars surface-imaging services, lines up reports from Albedo Space, Redwire Space and Astrobotic Technology. NASA selected SpaceX, Lockheed Martin and Blue Origin for the fourth study category, next-generation relay services.

The companies’ work are scheduled for 12 weeks for conclusion in August, with a study summary for release later in 2024. NASA requests for proposals could result from the studies, although such potential does not guarantee the agency’s commitment.

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Category: Space

Tags: Albedo Space Astrobotic Technology Blue Origin funding Lockheed Martin Mars commercial services Mars Exploration Program NASA Redwire Space space