coondoggie writes to tell us that Lockheed Martin has landed a $485 million contract to create the spacecraft for NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) project. "MAVEN is the second mission in NASA's Mars Scout Program — a series of small, low-cost, principal investigator-led missions to the Red Planet, NASA said. The Phoenix Mars Lander was the first mission under the program. Lockheed Martin is the industry partner on the Phoenix mission. It designed and built the spacecraft, and also provided flight operations and currently surface operations for the lander. The mission has been extended through Sept. 30, 2008."
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