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ULA to Provide Atlas V Launch Services for NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover

Mars 2020United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), will provide Atlas V 541 launch services to NASA for a follow-up rover mission to Mars.

NASA said Friday it estimates that the Mars 2020 launch will cost $243 million, including spacecraft and planetary protection processing, rocket integration and tracking, data and telemetry support.

The next Mars rover, scheduled to launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by July 2020, will search the Martian surface for signs of life as well as examine natural resources and potential hazards for future human explorers of the Red Planet.

The space agency said the mission will build on the Curiosity rover’s achievements as part of the Mars Exploration Program and aims to demonstrate new technologies developed through the agency’s Space Technology Program and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California will manage spacecraft development for the Mars 2020 project and its Kennedy Space Center in Florida will oversee the launch service for the mission.

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