Article image Lockheed-Martin reveals plans for reusable lunar lander

NASA Wants the Moon Again As Agency Turns 60

The New Glenn and Blue Origin's lunar lander, Blue Moon, will transport the winning entries to the lunar surface as soon as 2024. Having the ability to visit multiple sites with a reusable lander, such as this one presented by Lockheed Martin, supports many global, commercial and scientific collaborations, in addition to NASA's sustainable exploration of the Moon.

Lockheed Martin's design will remain at the Deep Space Gateway until astronauts need to be taken to the moon.

The spacecraft, known as the Mars Base Camp Precursor Lunar Lander, would use the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway as its home base, which NASA said will start building near the Moon in 2022, Space.com reports.

The Deep Space Gateway is a collaboration between the U.S. and Russian Federation to create a lunar space station that will act as a "gateway to deep space".

The lander's first configuration will be capable of seating four astronauts as well as carrying up to 2,000lbs of cargo.

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Last December, Donald Trump signed off on a space policy directive that calls for NASA, along with its private partners, to send astronauts to the Moon and, "eventually", Mars.

After each visit to the lunar surface, the lander would fire up its engines and fly back to Deep Space Gateway to return the astronauts, and refuel.

Among the plan's strategic objectives, NASA calls for returning USA astronauts on the surface of the moon. Important quantities of water can be found on the moon's polar region, which missions in the future can use to create fuel and oxygen for a manned outpost.

The NASA's Gateway project provides global lunar access for a Moon lander. "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.

Dr. Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL (left), Avi Blasberger, Director of the Israel Space Agency (ISA - second from left), NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (second from right), and NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen (right), following the signing of the agreement.

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