Lockheed Martin Unveils Plans to Put Humans in Mars Orbit Within 12 Years

Monday, 23 May 2016 - 12:02PM
Mars
Monday, 23 May 2016 - 12:02PM
Lockheed Martin Unveils Plans to Put Humans in Mars Orbit Within 12 Years
If it was a space race that got humans onto the Moon, it could be that something similar might see humans reach the Red Planet. Mars is one of the hottest properties in the scientific community right now, and between NASA, Elon Musk, and a host of other private ventures, there are a number of different plans for ensuring that humans reach our planetary neighbor within a generation. Last week, Lockheed Martin threw their hat into the ring, unveiling plans for an orbital Mars base camp that could see humans reaching Mars within the next twelve years.


Lockheed Martin


While NASA's goal of landing humans on the Martian surface is grabbing most of the headlines, getting to humans to Mars orbit is still a crucial part of that process. It's this integral piece of the puzzle that Lockheed Martin are looking to crack, and they're doing it all with technology that exists today.

Opening quote
"We think that orbiting Mars is a necessary precursor to landing humans on the surface," Lockheed Martin's Tony Antonelli told Popular Science. "NASA has that in their plans, and we're coloring in the details. All of these pieces exist today, they're not brand new. We're taking advantage of what we've already got."
Closing quote

Lockheed's Mars Base Camp centers around the Orion module, which the company has already successfully tested. The company's design is one of a number of Mars habitat designs being considered by NASA, and Antonelli's Lockheed team believe that a manned orbital mission would not just be the perfect precursor to putting humans on the planet's surface, but could also see some remarkable scientific returns.

Opening quote
"We think that putting scientists with laboratories right there in Mars orbit will allow them, in just a few months, to accomplish more science than we've been able to accomplish in the past 40 years."
Closing quote

Lockheed's Mars Base Camp would allow astronauts to spend between ten and eleven months orbiting the planet. Whilst there, proposed operations could include remotely investigating Mars's moons, and controlling rovers on the Martian surface to help find a suitable landing site for a manned mission to the surface.
Science
Space
Mars

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