Martin unveils lunar lander concept vehicle

Martin unveils lunar lander concept vehicle

This week, American aerospace/defense/security/tech company Lockheed Martin unveiled a new crewed lunar lander, created to work with NASA's Gateway lunar outpost and using the already-proven technology and systems from NASA's Orion humanity exploration spacecraft, for which Lockheed is the primary contractor.

When astronauts finally walk on the moon again, they could be in for a long stay - as Lockheed Martin has shown off a giant lunar landerbuilt for two-week stints.

To achieve this goal, NASA has called on aerospace industry producers to present plans to build a space station that orbits around the moon, dubbed the "Lunar Gateway", as well as spacecraft that land on the moon.

The Deep Space Gateway is a collaboration between the USA and Russian Federation to create a lunar space station that will act as a "gateway to deep space".

The massive lander is a single-stage reusable system capable of accommodating a crew of four and 2,000 pounds of cargo on the surface of the Moon for up to two weeks. In addition, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will attempt to take scientific measurements of the SpaceIL lander as it lands on the Moon.

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NASA wanted innovative ideas for a return trip to the Moon and this is Lockheed's best attempt so far. Much of the hardware will be modeled on Lockheed's future deep-space crew capsule Orion, which the company has been developing for NASA and which reportedly costs $20 billion.

It would however need to be refueled between missions, potentially using water from the Moon's surface.

The NASA's Gateway project provides global lunar access for a Moon lander.

The agreement was signed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Avi Blasberger, director of the Israel Space Agency, in the presence of SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby. The company offered no details on Wednesday about how it would move from the design phase to moon missions in this timeframe. First of all, Gateway needs to be deployed, and for this happen NASA needs to launch the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket humans have ever built.

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