The satellite would enable high-resolution imaging and bandwidth communications, as well as aid exploration of robotic science in support of NASA's journey to Mars. The space agency adds that current technologies that are being tested, such as high-power solar electric propulsion or an optical communications package, could greatly improve the speed of transmission through radio-frequency systems.
The planning and formulation process of the project is under the direction of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, through the laboratory of the Jet Propulsion Agency (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The goal is to extract the capabilities of the current industry to improve the study of deep space.
"Our success in exploring Mars, to unravel the mysteries of the red planet, depends on having high-bandwidth communication with the earth and the image above," said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate. from NASA in Washington adding that "this new orbiter will use cutting edge technology to reinvigorate our ability to continue exploring Mars and support transformative science, including a potential sample return mission in the future."
On the other hand, NASA communicates that it is looking for a way to implement this project (as far as possible) in conjunction with its international partners, since historically there have been contributions to the missions of Mars such as the Rover Curiosity and the spacecraft spatial MRO, among others.
This project joins other more ambitious projects that are still underway, such as the one that aims to send human beings to the red planet or the next launch of the Insgiht lander in 2018.
The Epoch Times