A Mars-exploration architecture conceived at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an exercise to keep its engineers on the cutting edge can help garner support for NASA’s open-ended “Evolving Mars” approach to sending humans to the Red Planet, according to the JPL official who ordered the study. Firouz Naderi, director for solar system exploration at JPL, said April 28 that the work originated with an assignment from NASA to study solar-electric propulsion (SEP) as it will be ...

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