NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory today announced the selection of two aerospace companies as the associate contractors for the Mars Environmental Survey (MESUR) Network phase B1 study and MESUR Pathfinder support effort.

Part of NASA's proposed Discovery program of small, low-cost planetary missions, MESUR Pathfinder will place a lander and a microrover on the Martian surface in 1997. NASA's proposed MESUR Network mission is being designed to deploy landers at several locations on the Martian surface around the turn of the century.

The companies are Hughes Aircraft Co., Hughes Spacecraft & Communications of El Segundo, Calif.; and Rockwell International Corp., Space Systems Division, Downey, Calif.

During the initial phase, scheduled to begin in November 1993, each of the associate contractors will study and develop concepts for multiple surface landers on Mars, and provide technical support personnel who will participate with JPL in the design and development of the Pathfinder mission.

The estimated price for each fixed-price contract is $1.8 million.

The MESUR Pathfinder is a single spacecraft designed to demonstrate low-cost Mars delivery and lander technologies. Pathfinder will be launched in December 1996, with arrival at Mars in July 1997.

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