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Space & Astronomy

'Mars Base Camp' plan to include surface lander

By T.K. Randall
October 1, 2017 · Comment icon 12 comments

Could we see humans orbiting Mars within the next decade ? Image Credit: Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin is aiming to place a space station around Mars and to land astronauts on its surface.
The US defense and aerospace company announced on Thursday that it would be expanding its futuristic 'Mars Base Camp' proposal to include a manned landing vehicle as well.

The original plan was to construct a space station in Martian orbit by 2028 where astronauts could study the planet's atmosphere and operate rovers on its surface.

Now Lockheed has revealed its latest addition - the Mars Ascent/Descent Vehicle (MADV).
Using supersonic retropropulsion, this crewed vehicle would be able to detach from the space station and head down on to the surface of Mars for missions lasting up to two weeks.

The lander would use liquid hydrogen fuel, something that could eventually be produced in space from water ice harvested from either asteroids or from shaded craters on Mars' two moons.

"Base camps are not a destination unto themselves," said Lockheed's Rob Chambers. "They're a place from which you then set out - in this case, to descend to the surfaces of other worlds."

Source: Space.com | Comments (12)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 years ago
If is is exploration from orbit you want why build a station? The moon Phobos is ideally situated, why not utilise that?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Parsec 7 years ago
Sometimes (as in this case) I don't understand if you are critical for the sake of it or what.  Why don't you ask that very question to L&M?  They are the proponents after all, I just replied to their unveiling.    Since you are so knowledgeable on the matter (no irony implied), why instead don't you address the second part of my post about the magnetosphere?   Or maybe you alluded to the idea that Phobos is actually hollow and we could build a station inside?  Possibly instead of Mars Base Camp and Deep Space Gateway the base will be simply called Pohl's Gateway? 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 years ago
Why so oversensitive? No criticism was made or implied. I was just making an alternative suggestion. I think the idea of an orbital base is a good one but was suggesting that Phobos might be a good place to situate it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Parsec 7 years ago
If that's the case, then my bad for wrongly reading your post.    Anyway, are you sure it would be more feasible landing on phobos? Would you build a base there separate from the spaceship or would you attach the spaceship to the moon and use the whole as a base? How would you land on it?   We are talking about boarding a pretty fast body in the innermost orbit of a planet that is not our own.   Besides having a base around another planet, that would already be a first in itself, you would also add landing on a relatively small celestial body, feat never done before if not by ESA with Phil... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by thelion318 7 years ago
You all know if they find anything truly fantastic like pyramids or advanced past life then they'll never tell us
Comment icon #8 Posted by taniwha 7 years ago
Perhaps they will search Mars for answers to Earths problems like poverty, war, famine and disease.  
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 years ago
And how do you know this, because I certainly don't.
Comment icon #10 Posted by paperdyer 7 years ago
I wonder if the solar powered vehicle NASA is testing might be an option?  Making liquid hydrogen from ice, while in space seems risky unless it's done in a separate facility.  I realize it's risky on Earth as well.  I guess it's less risky than shipping it from Earth.
Comment icon #11 Posted by thelion318 7 years ago
And how do you know this, because I certainly don't.   Well there have been times where NASA cuts the live feed and goes to private channels.  FOIA requests are sometimes not honored due to secret classifications and many documents that do get turned over to various researchers are heavily redacted.  Just recently it was reported that a number of documents that were withheld from the public regarding the JFK assassination will soon be available to be released but the President has the option to keep them secret. My thesis is only that the government keeps many things secret from us, and we... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Almighty Evan 7 years ago
FWIW, from Nov. 2016: https://phys.org/news/2016-11-bad-mars.html

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