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Reports US

US stock market daily report (July 24, 2014, Thursday)

July 25, 2014, Friday, 02:44 GMT | 22:44 EST | 07:14 IST | 09:44 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is soliciting for a commercially owned and operated satellite network on Mars. On NASA's procurement website, viewers could read the following pertaining to Mars, “There is a potential communications gap in the 2020s.” The network may be the ultimate in long-distance telephone service - hate to pay those roaming charges! The solicitation added, “With that in mind, NASA is interested in exploring alternative models to sustain and evolve the Mars relay infrastructure."

The solicitation is open to all organizations including NASA, U.S. industries, universities, nonprofit groups, other government centers and, international organizations. Proposals are due at NASA by August 25, 2014 as the agency is in the idea seeking stage. NASA has no firm plans or funding available to purchase commercial communication services on Mars.

As the United States, Europe, India and Russia mount a fresh wave of science campaigns, NASA's aging Mars communications system - including two atmospheric probes slated to arrive at Mars in September and two life-hunting rovers due to launch in 2018 and 2020.

To learn if - Mars - the planet most like Earth in the solar system ever supported life, results of studies and experiments by NASA's rovers, landers and orbiters have to be relayed more quickly and on a timely basis. Results are useless if the robotic probes cannot relay them to NASA. Two communication satellites currently in orbit, are getting old. The Mars Odyssey spacecraft was launched in 2001 and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter followed with a launch in 2005.

NASA Mars exploration program executive Lisa May said in a statement, "A commercially operated communications service could be less expensive and more capable than what NASA could build and operate on its own, while providing “appropriate return-on-investment” to the service provider."