Virgin Orbit has partnered with SatRevolution and a dozen Polish universities to develop small satellites to explore Mars.
This is a division of the aerospace company VirginGalactic Richard Branson specializes in the design and creation of small orbital vehicles. Following the recent success of NASA's InSight mission, it was decided to organize something similar using the 50-kilogram satellites that the LauncherOne rocket would launch into outer space.
Upon arrival on Mars, the devices will be able to take pictures, study atmosphere or look for water. According to Will Pomeranz, Vice President of Virgin Orbit Special Projects, in the future, these satellites can also be sent to study Venus and objects in the asteroid belt.
However, to implement an ambitious plan,companies will first need to complete LauncherOne missile tests. From the success of the air launch and flight will depend on the timing of sending satellites to Mars.
If everything goes according to plan, then in 2022 the first private mission to the Red Planet will take place.
While private companies are taking their first steps in thisdirection, national space agencies are developing a new generation of research vehicles. In March, NASA successfully tested the first Martian helicopter.</p>