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NASA Gives Lockheed Martin the Contract to Build MAV and Retrieve Mars’ First Samples from Perseverance

NASA chose and gave the contract to Lockheed Martin to create the so-called Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) that will journey to the Jezero Crater and rendevous with Perseverance. The automated systems would then load the first rock samples from the region to the MAV and bring them to the home planet for further analysis and studying to know the planet more. 

NASA: Lockheed Martin Will Create the MAV for the Retrieval Mission

NASA Perseverance Rover Captures Face-Like Mars Rock—Nicknaming It 'Issole'

(Photo : NASA via Getty Images)

The Mars Ascent Vehicle will play a pivotal role in the upcoming mission from NASA that aims to retrieve the rock samples from Mars and the Perseverance rover. According to NASA, it awarded the contract to make the small rocket to Lockheed Martin and it will help in bringing the samples from the Red Planet to Earth. 

Lockheed Martin’s MAV will launch the lightweight rocket filled with the rock samples from Mars to the home planet and it will fulfill the first retrieval mission of NASA with the 2020 mission. The mission would also involve the European Space Agency to complete the handoff for when MAV is in range with the home planet. 

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NASA MAV: Perseverance Will Soon Bring Samples from Mission

NASA is not yet employing humans to go to Mars and retrieve the rock samples from Perseverance and back home. Lockheed and ESA’s role will focus on a remote-controlled operation that would have robots and computers complete the process while simultaneously communicating with the home base to complete the retrieval mission. 

NASA Perseverance: Missions Collect Samples in the Jezero Crater

NASA’s Perseverance Rover and the Ingenuity Helicopter, both part of the Mars 2020 Exploration Program, are nearing the end of their initial mission to collect rock samples in the Jezero Crater. 

But what is next for the mission, right? 

The spacecraft controlled by NASA would not yet go home like the Curiosity Rover and would continue to mine the planet for samples. However, another part of its mission is to ensure that the rock samples are delivered to the sealing chamber it has that will ready it for the upcoming retrieval mission that NASA would soon launch. 

Now, the focus of the space agency is to retrieve the samples and bring them home for the Earth’s top scientists and researchers to examine these and make a formative study regarding Mars. It will help understand the Red Planet more and identify the many mysteries behind it that would soon help the future missions that will bring humans to Mars. 

Soon, Lockheed Martin will help in fulfilling the success of that mission as NASA awarded the contract to them for the retrieval of the samples. The Perseverance’s effort in the past year will reap its fruits when the MAV successfully brings these samples back to the home planet and bring humans the information it needs regarding the neighboring planet. 

Related Article: NASA Mars Rover Captures What People Think Is Proof Life On Mars-It Isn’t, Here’s Why

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Written by Isaiah Richard

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