An ESCAPADE to Mars, on the cheap

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Published Sep 8, 2021, 3:00 PM

NASA hopes to radically reduce the price tag for exploring Mars with a mission called ESCAPADE. Principal investigator Rob Lillis and his team will send two small probes to the Red Planet in 2024 for less than $80 million. They will work with orbiters already circling Mars to answer deep questions about the evolution of that world’s formerly thick atmosphere and the effects of solar radiation. Then we’ll check in with Planetary Society chief scientist Bruce Betts for another What’s Up. Discover more at

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