Published: Sat, October 06, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Article image Lockheed-Martin reveals plans for reusable lunar lander

Article image Lockheed-Martin reveals plans for reusable lunar lander

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. Leveraging tech from the aerospace giant's Orion spacecraft for deep-space missions, the 14-meter, single-stage vessel can camp for up to 14 days on the moon.

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

NASA has recently submitted to Congress a plan called the National Space Exploration Campaign, which immediately follows President Donald Trump Space Policy Directive-1 signed in December 2017. According to a newly published Lockheed white paper, the lunar lander would carry a crew of four astronauts and an additional 2,000 pounds of payload cargo to the surface of the Moon where it could stay for up to two weeks before returning to the Gateway without refueling on the surface.

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Among the plan's strategic objectives, NASA calls for returning USA astronauts on the surface of the moon.

In a Post on Facebook, SpaceIL CEO Ido Antebi said it was "a great honor" to collaborate with NASA and that he hoped that this upcoming mission would lead to more "space missions and other technological challenges" in the future.

Earlier this week, Blue Origin announced it is partnering with the European Space Agency, Airbus and other companies for an global "Moon Race" competition, encouraging groups to develop sustainable technology for a lunar base.

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Lockheed's lunar lander will serve as a precursor to an even more ambitious spacecraft: a Mars lander.

The Israeli Space Agency (ISA) announced Wednesday that it had signed an agreement with NASA to engage the American space agency in the first Israeli moon mission. 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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