Virgin Orbit plans to launch first commercial small satellites to Mars

TechCrunch | 10/9/2019 | Staff
chrismpotts (Posted by) Level 3
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Richard Bransons-backed small satellite launch operation Virgin Orbit wants to be the first to dedicate a mission to bringing commercial cube sats to the red planet, the company announced today. Working with Polish satellite company SatRevolution, Virgin Orbit has established a consortium along with a group of Polish academic institutions to jointly work on at least one, and as many as three small satellite launches to Mars, with the first one expected to happen as soon as three years from now.

The consortium is working to follow in the footsteps of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s MarCO mission from 2018, which saw two smaller satellites launched to Mars successfully. The group’s early studies have suggested that even satellites as small as 50 kg (around 110 lbs) or potentially even smaller can provide meaningful and useful research, including imagery collection, from both Mars and its orbiting body Phobos. These satellites could provide key info about the atmospheric composition of Mars, or...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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