Lockheed Martin has recently unveiled its brand-new Lunar Lander.
The spaceship is twice the size of the Apollo lander and could allow astronauts to remain on the moon’s surface for up to two weeks at a time.
The giant lunar lander could revolutionize the way we explore the lunar surface, pacing the way for mankind to reach Mars.
The 14-meter tall single-stage spacecraft can transport as many as four astronauts to the moon’s surface allowing them to stay up to 14 days on the moon’s surface, before the lander’s engines blast it back into orbit.
The Lunar Lander—twice the size of the Apollo capsule that carried astronauts to the moon nearly half a century ago— is based on flight-proven technologies and systems from NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
The lander would use NASA’s Deep Space Gateway space station as massive motherships, transporting astronauts to the moon’s surface and back home.
“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,” said Lisa Callahan, vice president 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 affordable. This lander could be used to establish a surface base, deliver scientific or commercial cargo, and conduct extraordinary exploration of the Moon,” added Callahan.
The key to make everything work is NASA’s Deep Space Gateway space station.
“I envision different partners, both international and commercial, contributing to the gateway and using it in a variety of ways with a system that can move to different orbits to enable a variety of missions,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
“The gateway could move to support robotic or partner missions to the surface of the moon, or to a high lunar orbit to support missions departing from the gateway to other destinations in the solar system.”
Reusable landers such as the one presented by Lockheed Martin are enabled by the lunar Gateway and are of extreme importance for sustainable space exploration.