NASA Mars Ascent Vehicle MAV Lockheed Martin
NASA has just announced that it awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Space to build the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). This small, lightweight rocket will transpor rock, sediment, and atmospheric samples from the surface of the Red Planet back to Earth. The harsh Martian surface is going to challenge the MAV, as it not only has to be rugged enough to withstand the harsh environment, but also adaptable to work with multiple spacecraft. Read more for a video and additional information.

Plus, the Mars Ascent Vehicle must be small enough to fit inside the Sample Retrieval Lander. The latter is set for launch no earlier than 2026 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During this development phase, Lockheed Martin Space aims to provide multiple MAV test units and a flight unit to NASA. The agency’s Mars Sample Return Campaign hopes to revolutionize our understanding of Mars by bringing scientifically selected samples for study using the most sophisticated instruments yet.

LEGO Creator 3in1 Space Rover Explorer 31107 Building Toy for Kids Who Love Imaginative Play, Space and Exploration Adventures on Exotic Planets (510 Pieces)
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This groundbreaking endeavor is destined to inspire the world when the first robotic round-trip mission retrieves a sample from another planet – a significant step that will ultimately help send the first astronauts to Mars. America’s investment in our Mars Sample Return program will fulfill a top priority planetary science goal and demonstrate our commitment to global partnerships, ensuring NASA remains a leader in exploration and discovery,” said Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator.


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