Lockheed Martin selected for NASA’s lunar lander

Posted on 17 Dec 2018 and read 770 times
Lockheed Martin selected for NASA’s lunar lander Lockheed Martin will apply its expertise to a new programme designed to deliver commercial payloads to the surface of the Moon, after NASA announced it has selected the company’s McCandless Lunar Lander to provide payload delivery services as part of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contract.

Lockheed Martin’s lander design (www.lockheedmartin.com) builds on four decades of experience gained engineering deep-space missions, including Mars landers.

The McCandless Lunar Lander is based on the proven design of the InSight lander, which touched down on the surface of Mars on 26 November, and the Phoenix lander, which successfully arrived at Mars in May 2008.

Lisa Callahan, general manager for Commercial Civil Space at Lockheed Martin, said: “We are excited to leverage our interplanetary lander designs and experience to help NASA build a new economy on and around the Moon — and beyond.

“Lockheed Martin has built more interplanetary spacecraft than all other US companies combined, including four successful Mars landers. With our expertise on Orion and the NextSTEP lunar habitat, we can maximise the value of CLPS for lunar science operations as well as the path forward to tomorrow’s re-usable human lander.”

The McCandless Lunar Lander is designed for transporting large payloads weighing hundreds of kilograms — including stationary scientific instruments, deployable rovers and sample-return vehicles — to the surface of the Moon.

It uses a proven propulsive landing approach with on-board radars plus rocket thrusters that fire 10 times a second to slow to achieve a speed of just 5mph before touching down.

Once on the lunar surface, the lander can provide power, communications and thermal management for advanced payloads.

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