Space exploration market heating up with $100 million in industry contracts expected for 2020 NASA mission to Mars

Posted by John Keller

GREENBELT, Md., 18 Aug. 2013. Space exploration experts at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are preparing $100 million worth of industry contracting opportunities, including unmanned vehicles, for an upcoming space flight mission to Mars planned for 2020.

Officials of the NASA Science Mission Directorate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., on Monday said they will release an announcement of opportunity document next month for a space flight mission to Mars, to be launched in July or August 2020.

The target date for this listing of Mars mission contracting opportunities is 16 Sept. 2016 or later, NASA officials say. The opportunities will be listed on the NASA solicitation and proposal Website at Links to opportunities also will be on the NASA Mars 2020 Acquisition Website at

The Mars 2020 mission will explore Mars as a potential habitat for life, to search for signs of past life, and to collect samples for possible future return to Earth. NASA is looking for industry proposals on technologies for future robotic or human exploration of Mars.

NASA officials will sponsor a proposal conference this October via video/teleconference from Washington, and NASA will require Notices of Intent (NOIs) from interested companies and organizations no later than one week after the preproposal conference. Proposals will be due by mid-December 2013.

For questions or concerns contact NASA's Mitchell Schulte by phone at 202-358-2127, or by email at no later than 26 Aug. 2013. Put Mars 2020 AO in the subject line of all emails.

More information is online at

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