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NASA awards key contract to bring rock samples back from Mars – Engadget

NASA has taken a big step in the Mars Sample Return mission, awarding the Mars Ascent Propulsion System (MAPS) contract to longtime NASA contractor Northrup Grumman…

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NASA’s Perseverance Rover is equipped with the most advanced science lab ever brought to another planet, so it will be able to thoroughly analyze any rocks and soil that it digs up. However, NASA also has something even more ambitious in mind: bringing Perseverance samples back to Earth via the Mars Sample Return mission. Now, NASA and its European Space Agency (ESA) partner have taken a big step in that mission, awarding the Mars Ascent Propulsion System (MAPS) contract to Northrop Grumman Systems.

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