Blue Origin plans to send twin NASA spacecraft to Mars in 2024.
Blue Origin is aiming for Mars from low Earth orbit.
NASA commissioned Blue Origin to launch the Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers mission to Mars (ESCAPADE).
If the booster is complete, Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket will launch the twin spacecraft in late 2024, taking the business beyond suborbital flight.
ESCAPADE is scheduled to examine the magnetosphere, the magnetic zone of Mars' atmosphere, with two Rocket Lab-designed spacecraft.
Two Mars-orbiting spacecraft will examine how the solar wind (charged particles from the sun) significantly eroded the atmosphere over aeons.
Since Martian water flowed abundantly billions of years ago, mission results may help scientists understand how the planet dried out.
Blue Origin was one of a handful of companies being considered for the position.
NASA material calls VADR "new potential for science and technology payloads and encouraging a burgeoning U.S. commercial launch industry" (opens in new tab).
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