Lockheed Martin will build the first rocket that will make a round trip from Mars to Earth

Until now, scientists have relied on rovers to navigate the Red Planet. However, while these contraptions are convenient, they cannot bring samples of rocks, sediments, and other Martian material back to Earth. To overcome this obstacle, NASA has decided to develop a rocket that can shuttle between Earth and Mars.

The Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) is a small, lightweight rocket and is the crucial element of NASA’s plan. According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, this revolutionary project is destined to inspire the world “. If NASA succeeds in its bet, not only will it be possible to bring samples from another planet to Earth, but also to obtain more information to send astronauts to Mars.

The Mars Ascent Vehicle is expected to land near Jerezo Crater where an old rocket was docked in February 2021. The lander will also be used as a launch pad for the Mars Ascent Vehicle.

Once the rocket is in orbit, the European space agency will take care of recovering the Mars Ascent Vehicle with the appropriate equipment. By 2030, NASA should recover samples from the planet Mars. The design phase of this project is almost complete. The rocket parts are gradually coming together and the mission should begin soon.

The rocket won’t take off until 2026

Lockheed Martin received a budget of 194 million dollars for the development of the rocket. The designer should therefore develop several Mars Ascent Vehicles to carry out the test phases. The tests will make it possible to evaluate the integrated system of the rocket and to improve it.

The Mars Ascent Vehicle should have the ability to withstand environmental conditions on Mars. It will also have to adapt with several spacecraft. The rocket will also need to be small enough to fit inside the sample retrieval lander. Although the challenge is daunting, Lockheed Martin is confident of the success of this project. However, the lander may not be operational until 2026.

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