Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageLockheed-Martin reveals plans for reusable lunar lander

By Karen Graham     Oct 4, 2018 in Technology
On Wednesday, October 3, aerospace giant Lockheed Martin revealed its concept for a reusable, single-stage spaceship capable of ferrying four astronauts between lunar orbit and the surface of the moon.
In a press release, Lockheed Martin touted its lunar lander concept as being aligned with NASA's lunar Gateway and future Mars missions.
The aerospace company has specifically designed the lunar lander to transport four astronauts between a space station, in this case, the NASA Gateway, to the lunar surface. The lunar lander is a single stage and a fully reusable system that incorporates the flight-proven technologies and systems found in NASA's Orion spacecraft.
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.
An artist s illustration of Lockheed Martin s proposed moon lander attached to the Lunar Orbital Pla...
An artist's illustration of Lockheed Martin's proposed moon lander attached to the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a small space station that NASA aims to start building in lunar orbit in 2022.
Lockheed Martin
The Lockheed Martin lunar lander would weigh 24 tons empty, and weigh 68 tons when fully fueled. Space.com notes that the expendable lunar lander that NASA used during the Apollo program carried two astronauts and weighed 4.7 tons without propellant.
Orion, which Lockheed is also building for NASA, and the Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket, which is also in development, will help astronauts explore deep-space destinations, such as the moon and Mars, NASA officials have said.
An artistic rendering of Lockheed Martin’s lunar lander design concept
An artistic rendering of Lockheed Martin’s lunar lander design concept
Lockheed Martin
"There's a lot of development that we've accomplished on Orion, so that helps," Tim Cichan, space exploration architect at Lockheed Martin Space, told Space.com. (Cichan presented the lunar-lander concept Wednesday at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany.)
But the Verge points out that while NASA has been actively engaged in crafting the design for the Gateway, getting astronauts to the Moon's surface and back to the space station has been left to the commercial space industry. Agency administrator Jim Bridenstine has emphasized that NASA wants to engage in an Exploration Campaign to get back to the Moon, and will rely heavily on private companies to get us on the lunar surface.
More about lockheedmartin, Lunar lander, Reusable, crew of four, NASA