Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Article image Lockheed-Martin reveals plans for reusable lunar lander

Article image Lockheed-Martin reveals plans for reusable lunar lander

Putting human boots back on the moon is part of NASA's ambitious long-term goals for the next decade, which also includes landing the first humans on Mars and an asteroid.

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.

In a statement on Tuesday, OHB said: "The companies have partnered on a future Blue Moon mission to the lunar surface - Blue Origin's lunar lander capable of bringing several metric tons of cargo to the Moon". Combining the LOP-G and the Lockheed Martin lunar lander concept could provide for sustainable lunar exploration. ISA and SpaceIL will share data with the United States space agency from the SpaceIL lunar magnetometer installed aboard the spacecraft.

According to a NASA statement, "the agreement exemplifies the innovative approach that NASA and its global partners are taking to team up with commercial partners to advance important science and exploration objectives on and around the Moon".

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

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

In addition, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will attempt to take scientific measurements of the SpaceIL lander as it lands on the moon. Similarly to the current moon exploration plan, NASA would like to ultimately deploy a space station to Mars' orbit. That craft will be sent into space aboard NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), still under development and created to be the most powerful rocket ever built.

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