Engineers design spacecraft to take humans to moon and beyond

05 October, 2018, 08:42 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • NASA Wants the Moon Again As Agency Turns 60

The arrangement could mesh with OHB's participation in a project to build a European-built module for the worldwide lunar orbital platform known as the Gateway, which is due to take shape in the mid-2020s.

After direction from the Trump administration, NASA is working to return humans to the moon for the first time since the historic 1972 landing.

Lockheed Martin has revealed a crewed lunar lander concept for future missions to the Moon.

Aerospace giants Lockheed and NASA evealed the plans for the 46 foot tall spacecraft that could carry four astronauts on the moon.

"The Gateway is key to full, frequent and fast reusability of this lander", said in a statement Tim Cichan, the space exploration architect at Lockheed Martin Space who presented the lander concept at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

The lander would work alongside NASA's planned Deep Space Gateway space station, allowing astronauts to visit the moon quickly and for long periods.

Lockheed Martin's lunar lander is able to launch four astronauts and 2,000 pounds of cargo to the moon, and can remain on the moon's surface for up to two weeks before needing to refuel, the company said Wednesday in Germany.

Lockheed says that it will be re-using some of the technology developed for NASA's Orion deep space exploration vehicle including avionics, life support, and communications and navigation systems, to reduce cost and development time for the lander. An expected completion date for the lunar lander project has not yet been announced.

The engines run on liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, which can both be sourced by splitting water.

Deep Space Gateway is a joint project between the United States and Russian Federation and was announced a year ago with ambitions for missions to Mars.

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

It's been more than 45 years since the last crew touched boots on the moon, and it might take at least another decade before this happens again. "The SLS will be the largest and most powerful rocket ever built - all this energy, all this force, will lift American astronauts to space aboard the Orion capsule", Pence explained.


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