In Brief The company has quietly has quietly suspended work on a pair of robotic missions, putting into question plans to launch those spacecraft in 2018
- Mars One, a Dutch-based nonprofit organization, announced in December 2013 it was starting work on two robotic missions it planned to launch in 2018 as precursors to its human expeditions to Mars. One spacecraft would orbit Mars and serve as a communications relay, while the other would be a lander to test technologies planned for later crewed missions.
- At that time, Mars One announced it had selected Lockheed Martin to begin work on the lander mission and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) to start work on the orbiter. However, both companies confirmed with SpaceNews that, since the completion of those study contracts, they have not received additional contracts from Mars One to continue work on those missions.
- The CEO offered no additional details about the status of Mars One’s robotic missions, declining to answer questions about the timeline for awarding follow-on contracts.