|arya||Date: Tuesday, 26-July-2016, 9:03 PM | Message # 1|
By Conor Gearin
NASA is getting into the nitty-gritty of how to build a Mars orbiter that would support human ground missions. The agency awarded contracts to five engineering companies – Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK and Space Systems/Loral – to show what kind of spacecraft each is capable of building for a potential mission in the 2020s.
The current Mars orbiters relay about 95 per cent of the data from rovers on the Red Planet. The other 5 per cent is sent directly from rovers, but this takes much longer and can only be carried out at certain times. “Those orbiters are getting long in the tooth,” says Richard Zurek at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The next generation will need better propulsion, better imaging capabilities and better communication systems to support a human mission.
FULL article/source - https://www.newscientist.com/article....re-real