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Mar. 22 - New step for the Mars Sample Return mission !

Mars Ascent Vehicle (copyrights : NASA)

NASA chose Lockheed Martin to build the rocket that will send samples from Mars back to Earth.

The weapon industry giant has been awarded a contract by  the US Space Agency to, among other things, build a small rocket that will return collected Martian samples to Earth.

The Martian Sample Return mission consists of three distinct phases. On the first phase, the Perseverance rover was sent to Mars to collect samples and encapsulate them.

The rocket to be built by Lockheed Martin called "Mars Ascent Vehicle" is part of the second step, where an other rover will collect the capsules and load them for propulsion into orbit from the Red Planet for phase three.

In the third and final phase, the Earth Return Orbiter spacecraft will retrieve the capsule from orbit around the planet and return it to Earth.

As a reminder, EREMS plays a major role in this last phase of this mission, having taken responsibility for the design and development of the Remote Interface Unit in charge of controlling all of the spacecraft's avionics interfaces.