NASA calls it quits for Mars mission, seeks help from startups l TechCrunch Minute

NASA is scrapping their $11 billion, 15-year Mars Sample Return Mission. The agency is shopping for a commercial partner to take on the challenge at a lower cost and on a quicker time frame—space startups are clamoring to throw their hat in the ring.

While the situation could be read as an admission by NASA that it’s no longer feasible to take on these massive missions on its own, the move to preemptively opt for a leaner Mars program fueled by commercial ambitions seems to have no obvious downside. TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm discusses what this means for the space industry and the players—big and small—who are focusing on planetary research.

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