Future tech reusable lunar lander
Lockheed Martin has announced a new single-stage design that would work well with nasa’s lunar Gateway
Lockheed Martin has announced a new initiative tipped to join NASA’s Lunar Gateway
pace sustainability is forever in the minds of scientists and engineers alike, and they are working together to improve the feasibility of numerous lunar trips. Space exploration has shown we are capable of taking man to the Moon and landing on it successfully. It has also revealed that it is possible to build and maintain a space station. When you combine this knowledge and extrapolate its capabilities for the future you get NASA’s proposed Lunar Gateway, which will advance human’s attendance in space, particularly within the vicinity of the Moon.
A recent announcement was made at the
69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Bremen, Germany, where Lockheed Martin revealed its new concepts for an exciting reusable Moon lander that can work alongside NASA’s proposed lunar outpost. This lunar lander furthers the possibility of sustainable space travel to the Moon and could even provide a valuable service for future missions to Mars. The key to this lander is its reusability, and with a hydrogen/ oxygen propulsion system it is possible that the proven presence of water ice on the Moon could be vital for multiple visits.
“NASA asked industry for innovative and new approaches to advance America’s goal of returning humans to the Moon and establishing a sustainable, enduring presence there,“says Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of Commercial Civil Space at Lockheed Martin Space. “This is a concept that takes full advantage of both the Gateway and existing technologies to create a versatile, powerful lander that can be built quickly and affordably. This lander could be used to establish a surface base, deliver scientific or commercial cargo and conduct extraordinary exploration of the Moon.”
This crewed lander will consist of a single-stage, fully reusable system that will include technologies and systems taken from another of NASA’s projects, the Orion spacecraft, which is being built for the human exploration of deep space. This lander will accommodate four people and also over 900 kilograms (roughly 2,000 pounds) of payload as they journey to the lunar surface. It will be able to stay on the Moon’s surface for up to 14 days without refuelling before returning back to the Lunar Gateway.
The benefits of being able to access multiple sites with a reusable lander has incredibly positive consequences for international, commercial and scientific communities. After the astronauts have made their visit to the Moon and conducted their experiments and other such business, the lander will then launch back to the Lunar Gateway where it can be refuelled, serviced and parked until its next mission. Much like how the International Space Station is key to preparing for long-term deep space travel, Lockheed Martin’s lander will be essential in preparing for an eventual Martian touchdown, as both the Moon and Mars have a much weaker gravity and also exhibit an essentially non-existent atmosphere.