"Lockheed Martin has unveiled the designs for a reusable lander built to ferry four astronauts and 1.1 tons of cargo between lunar orbit and the surface of the moon. Leveraging tech from the aerospace giant's Orion spacecraft for deep-space missions, the 14-meter, single-stage vessel can camp for up to 14 days on the moon. Upon touchdown, the crew will use the craft's lift elevator platform to get from the cabin to the surface, before blasting back to their home base aboard the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway -- a small space station that NASA plans to start constructing in 2022.
With enough juice to last the full two weeks, refuelling would take place between missions, though the lander can also be powered up on the surface. The preliminary concept relies on four modified RL10 engines, but other engines could also be utilized.
Lockheed's vehicle would be be twice as tall as the Lunar Module used during the Apollo missions to the Moon nearly half a century ago, reports Ars Technica, which carried two astronauts for brief stints of just a few days. The company says it will also serve as a precursor for its Mars lander -- also built to carry four people -- which is integral to its Mars Base Camp orbiting mission." engadget.com
I wish I were younger. No. I wouldn't have made the cut for space travel. No good at math, I never was. If there were some nice hostile aliens to fight then I might have made the team.
Seriously, this is a marvelous concept machine. 14 days on the lunar surface, actual cargo carrying capacity, these are wonderful things to accomplish
Still waiting for the Alderson Drive, let's have another look at the theories of relativity. pl