ADELAIDE — US defense, aerospace and security giant Lockheed Martin on Friday revealed plans for a Mars lander and a base camp.
Presenting during the final day of the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, South Australia, Lockheed Martin revealed its new Mars Ascent Descent Vehicle (MADV), a reusable lander that will be used in manned missions to Mars.
The Mars Base Camp, an orbiting outpost the company believes will be the key to landing on Mars, was also unveiled.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has partnered with Lockheed Martin in its attempt to land humans on Mars by the 2030s.
Lockheed Martin also announced that it is developing prototypes for the Deepspace Gateway project, a collaboration between the United States and Russia, which will see a space station launched into lunar orbit to act as a staging point for future missions to the lunar surface and deeper into space.
It is from the Deepspace Gateway that the Mars Base Camp would be constructed and launched into Martian orbit.
NASA and Lockheed Martin’s Mars landing plan revolves around deploying a manned Orion rocket to get a team of astronauts to the base camp, from where they will use a MADV to reach the surface of the planet.
“Sending humans to Mars has always been a part of science fiction, but today we have the capability to make it a reality,” Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of commercial civil space at Lockheed Martin, told the IAC on Friday.
“Partnered with NASA, our vision leverages hardware currently in development and production. We’re proud to have Orion powered-on and completing testing in preparation for its Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) flight and eventually its journey to Mars.”
The first Orion EM-1 mission will be launched to the moon in 2019 with the first crewed Orion mission to lunar orbit occurring in 2021 or 2022. (Xinhua)