Lockheed Martin's Lunar Lander Seats 4 Astronauts

NASA, Israel Space Agency Sign Agreement for Commercial Lunar Cooperation

NASA, Israel Space Agency Sign Agreement for Commercial Lunar Cooperation

In addition, NASA's lunar robotic spacecraft LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) launched 9 years ago and orbiting the moon, will try to photograph the Israeli spacecraft as it lands on the moon.

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos' space venture, Blue Origin, has signed a letter of intent to cooperate with Germany's OHB Group and MT Aerospace on a future mission to the moon that'll use Blue Origin's Blue Moon lunar lander.

The 46-foot single-stage lander is twice as tall as the Lunar Module used on the Apollo missions - and can carry four astronauts (twice as many as Apollo's Module). "This lander could be used to establish a surface base, deliver scientific or commercial cargo and perform Moon exploration", Lisa Callahan added. According to a lunar mineralogical map released by NASA past year, water is present nearly everywhere on the moon's surface, albeit in minute amounts.

When astronauts finally walk on the moon again, they could be in for a long stay - as Lockheed Martin has shown off a giant lunar landerbuilt for two-week stints.

"Gateway is key to the total, frequent and rapid reuse of this lander", added Tim Cichan, space exploration architect at Lockheed Martin, who presented the Moon lander concept at the International Astronautical Congress.

The lander uses NASA-proven technologies and systems from the Orion spacecraft, which has already flown two orbits around Earth.

Lockheed Martin's concept lunar landing craft, created to shuttle between the moon's surface and the orbiting "Lunar Gateway", was unveiled at the World Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany.

The VP also described the mighty Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft that will be used to carry US astronauts on epic missions over the coming years. The first Blue Moon mission to the lunar surface could take place by as early as 2023, company executives have said.

The agreement was signed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Avi Blasberger, director of the Israel Space Agency, in the presence of SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby.

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