Berlin, 18 June 2021. – Rocket Lab has been awarded by the University of California Berkeley to design two Photon spacecraft named Blue and Gold for a scientific mission to Mars, the launch company said.
The Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (ESCAPADE) mission, led by the university’s Space Sciences Laboratory, is a twin-spacecraft science mission that will orbit two spacecraft around Mars to understand the structure, composition, variability, and dynamics of Mars’ unique hybrid magnetosphere, Rocket Lab said.
“The mission will leverage its unique dual viewpoint on the Mars environment to explore how the solar wind strips atmosphere away from Mars to better understand how its climate has changed over time”, it said.
ESCAPADE is being developed under NASA’s Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx) program in the Science Mission Directorate (SMD).