The aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is looking far ahead and is planning something which is expected to be quite a revolutionary step in this field of aerospace. The company recently announced that it is actually working on this concept of a reusable and a single stage spaceship that will be capable to ferry as many as four astronauts from the lunar orbit to the lunar surface. This will be quite different from the landers that have been used in the past and the fact that this will be reusable makes it highly important.
The expendable lunar lander which was used by the American space agency NASA was carrying only two people and the weight of the same was close to 4.7 tons, without the propellant. As compared to this, this reusable lunar lander that was unveiled by Lockheed Martin is quite different as it weighs nearly 322 tons, when dry.
NASA is planning to build a particular space station near the moon, by the year 2022, and this will be called as the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway by the space agency. This small space station that the agency is building will be used as the home by the reusable lunar lander. The lander will be departing from the Gateway after carrying a few astronauts and a cargo of nearly 1.1 tons, according to the Lockheed white paper which was recently published.
During this mission, the spacecraft along with the crew will be able to stay on the surface of the moon for as long as two weeks. After the stay, it will get back to the Gateway, without the need to refuel the same. The design of this reusable lander has leveraged quite a few technologies from the Orion Capsule, which the company Lockheed Martin is building for the American space agency NASA.
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