The US space agency has announced a science mission to Mars aboard Jeff Bezos-run Blue Origin’s New Glenn space launch vehicle.

NASA awarded ‘Mars Science Mission Launch’ to Blue Origin’s New Glenn as part of the Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (ESCAPADE) contract.

ESCAPADE is part of the NASA Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx) program. It is a dual spacecraft mission to study the magnetosphere of the Red Planet.

ESCAPADE is a twin-spacecraft Class D mission that will study solar wind energy transfer through Mars’ unique hybrid magnetosphere.

“ESCAPADE follows a long tradition of NASA Mars science and exploration missions, and we’re thrilled NASA’s Launch Services Programme has selected New Glenn to launch the instruments that will study Mars’ magnetosphere,” said Jarrett Jones, senior vice president, of New Glenn, Blue Origin.

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Named after astronaut John Glenn, New Glenn is a partially reusable heavy-lift rocket designed to launch commercial satellites and national security payloads.

New Glenn is proceeding to fulfill its current commercial contracts, pursue a large and growing commercial market, and enter into new civil space launch contracts.

Blue Origin was on-ramped to the NASA VADR launch services Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract on January 26, 2022, with a five-year period of performance.

The Bezos aerospace company is working to create that future by developing reusable launch vehicles and in-space systems that are safe low-cost, and serve the needs of all civil, commercial, and defense customers.

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Blue Origin’s efforts include flying astronauts to space on New Shepard, producing reusable liquid rocket engines, developing an orbital launch vehicle with New Glenn, building next-generation space habitats, and returning to the surface of the Moon.