NASA selects Blue Origin to launch a mission to Mars

Blue Origin was contracted by NASA for the launch of the Escape mission at the end of 2024

NASA has awarded Blue Origin the launch of its Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (ESCAPADE) mission to study Jupiter’s magnetosphere.

ESCAPADE will launch on Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket from Space Launch Complex-36 at the Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida. The launch is scheduled for the end of 2024.

This mission will study the magnetosphere of Mars, the magnetized area of ​​space surrounding the planet – using two identical small spacecraft, which will provide simultaneous observations from two points. The spacecraft will help researchers better understand how the magnetosphere interacts with the solar wind and how energy and plasma move in and out of the magnetosphere, NASA reports.

Each satellite will carry three instruments: a magnetometer to measure the magnetic field, an electrostatic analyzer to measure ions and electrons, and a Langmuir probe to measure plasma density and the solar extreme ultraviolet flux.

ESCAPADE will take about 11 months to reach Mars after leaving Earth orbit, where both spacecraft will spend several months adjusting their orbits before they are in a position to best capture data about the magnetosphere.

Studying the different magnetospheres allows scientists to better understand space weather, which can protect astronauts and satellites both while they orbit Earth and when they explore the solar system.

ESCAPADE is part of NASA’s Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration program.

Source: dpa

(Reference image source: Brian McGowan, Unsplash)

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