NASA Lists This Year’s Launch Services Missions

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NASA plans to pursue three science-related missions in 2020 under the space agency's Launch Services Program.

The three missions will seek to further understand Earth's oceans, the Sun and Mars, the space agency said Friday.

The first of which is SolarOrbiter, a partnership between NASA and the European Space Agency to study the Sun's poles, solar wind and outer atmosphere via an Airbus-made spacecraft. This mission will launch this February.

The second, known as the Mars 2020 mission, is scheduled to launch in July. This effort would deploy a rover to collect rock samples, study geology and seek signs of microbial life on the red planet.

The last of the three, another NASA-ESA partnership, will launch two satellites that would measure the altimetry of Earth's oceans. The Sentinel-6 mission will take place later this year.

“LSP is incredibly excited to execute the 2020 launch manifest,” said Tim Dunn, launch director of LSP.

Dunn added that the program will also advise on crew and resupply missions for the International Space Station this year.

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